The J. Paul Getty Museum

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

Object Number:



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

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Object Description

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, 1st 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, 2nd duke of Northumberland, English, 1742 - 1817, possibly by inheritance to his son, Hugh Percy

1817 - 1847

possibly Hugh Percy, 3rd duke of Northumberland, English, 1785 - 1847, possibly by inheritance to his brother, Algernon Percy

1847 - 1865

Algernon Percy, 4th duke of Northumberland, English, 1792 - 1865 (Stanwick Hall, Yorkshire, England)
Source: Described in the 1865 after-death inventory of Stanwick Hall as "a fine bust in black marble - W. Richmond the pugilist - on Italian Marble Plinth."

1865 - 1922

Percy Family, English, (Stanwick Hall, Yorkshire, England) [sold, Anderson and Garland, Stanwick Hall, Yorkshire, May (no day), 1922, lot 189]
Source: description of lot 189 as "A Carved Black Marble Bust of a Negro, 27 in. high, by F. Harwood, on circular Sienna marble plinth and wood pedestal, 4ft, high (in the margin in black inck is indicated the amount of 2.10 pounds)

- 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)
  • Palazzo Pitti (Florence), May 16 to November 5, 2006
Neoclassical Sculpture (January 28 to June 1, 2008)
  • Tate Britain (London), January 28 to June 8, 2008

Anderson and Garland, Yorkshire, Stanwick Hall. May 1922, p. 15, lot 189.

Christie's, London. Important European sculpture and works of art. April 9, 1987, p. 43, lot 83, ill., cover ill.

"Acquisitions/1988." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 17 (1989), pp. 102, 150, no. 90.

Roani Villani, Roberta. "Il 'Busto di Negro' di Francis Harwood del J. Paul Getty Museum di Malibu." Paragone 42 (1991), pp. 66-74, figs. 74-76.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 266, ill.

Fusco, Peter. Summary Catalogue of European Sculpture in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 28, ill.

Bassett, Jane, and Peggy Fogelman. Looking at European Sculpture: A Guide to Technical Terms (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 14, ill.

Fusco, Peter, Peggy Anne Fogelman, and Marietta Cambareri. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: European Sculpture (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1998), pp. 92-93, no. 32, ill., entry by Peggy Anne Fogelman.

Baker, Malcolm. Figured in Marble: The Making and Viewing of Eighteenth-Century Sculpture (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2000), p. 143, fig. 112.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 265, ill.

Giusti, Annamaria, ed. Arte e manifattura di corte a Firenze: dal tramonto dei Medici all'Impero, 1732-1815, exh. cat. (Florence: Palazzo Pitti, with Sillabe, 2006), p. 132, no. 60, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 268, ill.

Trusted, Marjorie, ed. The return of the gods: neoclassical sculpture in Britain, exh. cat. (London: Tate Britain, with Tate Publishing, 2008), p. 27, no. 13, ill., entry by Marjorie Trusted.

Roscoe, Ingrid and Emma Hardy, eds. A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain, 1660-1851 (London: Yale University Press, 2009), p. 585, under no. 10 (listed as an unidentified man in black stone).

Levenson, Cyra, Chi-ming Yang, and Ken Gonzales-Day. "Haptic Blackness: The Double Life of an 18th-century Bust." British Art Studies 1 (November 2015), British Art Studies, Issue 1, (accessed December 2, 2015).

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 8th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), p. 296, ill.

Education Resources
Education Resources

Education Resource




Looking at Portraits Lesson 3: The Interview

Students spend more time looking at details and write an imagined interview with a sitter.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; ESL (English as a Second Language)

Adult Learners

Short Activity

Neoclassicism Curriculum