The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is hosting an exhibition of extraordinary survivors…bronze sculptures from antiquity. Seeing any bronzes from antiquity is rare — bronze pieces were stolen, confiscated, taken as plunder and converted into “useful” objects such as coins, cookware, arms for battle. Seeing this many exquisite works in one place is NOT TO BE MISSED!
Identified simply as “Portrait of a Man,” this bronze head is displayed in a room devoted to Alexander the Great, and his peers and successors. The hat, known as a kausia, was often found in images used on coins as an identifying mark of Macedonian general or king. Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Education, and Religious Affairs/Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos.
Here is a link to Philip Kennicott’s discussion of the exhibit in the Washington Post, December 17, 2015.
Included in the exhibit is this head of a horse once owned by Lorenzo de’ Medici. Donatello, Verrocchio, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo…and so many others once stood and admired this.
This horse’s head was once part of a monumentally scaled statue of a horse and rider. Centuries after it was made, probably around 350 B.C., it belonged to Lorenzo the Magnificent, the Medici potentate, and was admired by Renaissance artists and sculptors. National Archaeological Museum of Florence.
Here is a link to the National Gallery’s web site for further information, including the audio tour and lots of images.