Bust of a Man

Object Details


Bust of a Man


Francis Harwood (English, 1726/1727 - 1783)




Florence, Tuscany, Italy (Place created)




Black stone (pietra di paragone) on a yellow Siena marble socle


69.9 x 50.2 x 26.7 cm, 52.6173 kg (27 1/2 x 19 3/4 x 10 1/2 in., 116 lb.)

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With noble bearing, this man proudly holds his chin high above his powerful chest. Sculptor Francis Harwood chose a black stone to reproduce the sitter's skin tone. Harwood also chose an unusual antique format for the bust, terminating it in a wide arc below the man's pectoral muscles. Harwood was familiar with antique sculptures from time spent in Florence reproducing and copying them. He may have deliberately used this elegant, rounded termination, which includes the entire, unclothed chest and shoulders, to evoke associations with ancient busts of notable men. Although the identity of the sitter is unknown, the scar on his face suggests that this is a portrait of a specific individual. This work may be one of the earliest sculpted portraits of a Black individual by a European.

1758 - 1786

possibly Hugh Percy, first duke of Northumberland, English, 1714 - 1786, possibly commissioned by him from the artist, possibly by inheritance to his son, Hugh Percy

1786 - 1817

possibly Hugh Percy, second duke of Northumberland, English, 1742 - 1817, possibly by inheritance to his son, Hugh Percy

1817 - 1847

possibly Hugh Percy, third duke of Northumberland, English, 1785 - 1847, possibly by inheritance to his brother, Algernon Percy

1847 - 1865

Algernon Percy, fourth duke of Northumberland, English, 1792 - 1865 (Stanwick Hall, Yorkshire, England)

1865 - 1922

Percy Family (Stanwick Hall, Yorkshire, England) [sold, Anderson and Garland, Stanwick Hall, Yorkshire, May (no day), 1922, lot 189]

before 1987

Private Collection (England) [sold, Christie's, London, April 9, 1987, lot 83 to Cyril Humphris]

1987 - 1988

Cyril Humphris, S.A. (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988.

Arte e manifattura di corte a Firenze. Dal tramonto dei Medidi all'Impero (1732-1815) (May 16 to November 5, 2006) (60)
  • Palazzo Pitti, (Florence), May 16 to November 5, 2006
Neoclassical Sculpture (January 28 to June 1, 2008) (13)
  • Tate Britain, (London), January 28 to June 8, 2008
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