This monk or prelate's head is striking for its naturalism, which betrays a portrait behind the usual characters of the Burgundian style of the second half of the fifteenth century.
This face can be likened to that of the Saint-Lazare de Nolay, circa 1475-1480, considered a hidden effigy of Cardinal Jean Rolin, or the presumed statue of the Cardinal at Autun. Cardinal Jean Rolin, brother of Nicolas Rolin, Chancellor of Burgundy, is a major figure in the Burgundy world. Compared to other known or presumed portraits of the Cardinal, this work should be placed around 1475-1480.
It is in the entourage of Antoine Le Moiturier that we can place this head. Succeeding Claus de Werve and Jean de la Huerta, the avignonais Le Moiturier gave a new life to the Burgundian court sculpture from 1465 onwards bringing an appeasement considered as southern. The eyes and mouth of our prelate are to be compared to the technique used for example for the Virgin of Pluvault.
The head is wearing a grainy-textured bonnet, which hides the ears, but leaves a large front in the Bourbon fashion, and which is not unlike the one covering the Saint-Antoine de Manlay. The rugged collar suggests a texture work in animal hair, sign of a rich coat.
Beautiful state. Lacks on the left cheek and chin. Some later stains. Remains of plaster under the neck and at the level of the neck showing an old reattachment of the head with a disappeared body.
H. 14 cm - 19 cm with metal base