Alfonso Altoviti, c. 1630
77 x 68 x 33 cm approx.
National Gallery of Canada (no. 42073)
Novelli, a Florentine sculptor, was receptive to contemporary developments in Roman art. This work was inspired by Finelli’s bust of Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger, carved in Rome and shipped to Florence the same year Novelli began this work. Novelli apes Finelli’s ability to differentiate textures of cloth and flesh and attempts to match his skill in carving - as for example in the wide undercut collar. The decision to include Altoviti’s arm recalls ancient Roman sculpture. As
with many of the works here, this bust was made for Altoviti’s tomb, but was instead replaced by a copy and kept in the family palace.