Double Head
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Attributed to Francesco Primaticcio
Italian, about 1543
15 3/16 x 13 3/4 x 7 7/8 in.

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This intriguing sculpture was cast from the female head of the ancient marble statue Cesi Juno (Rome, Capitoline Museum), which Michelangelo described as the most beautiful object in Rome. It may be one of the bronze casts after antique Roman statues that the French king Francis I commissioned from Primaticcio, his court artist, for the château at Fontainebleau, outside Paris; Double Head is depicted in a print of about 1650 above the entrance to a garden at Fontainebleau. It then passed to several famous collectors, including the 18th-century connoisseur Pierre Crozat and the 20th-century designer Yves Saint Laurent.