Extremely rare patinated plaster bust in imitation of terracotta.
It represents the bust of a knight with an opulent wig, dressed in a lace jabot, he wears a cord insignia which bars his torso.
A natural skull replaces his face.
The pedestal signed on the reverse with an L forming an enigmatic cross.
Very good state of preservation.
Italian work, Venice around 1860.
Height: 60cm; Width: 42cm
Our opinion :
Our extremely rare "Memento Mori" bust does not come from a satanic cult, it is even quite the opposite.
This Latin phrase meaning "remember that you are going to die" is a legacy of medieval European Christianity.
Some historians even argue that in ancient Rome the phrase was repeated by a slave to the Roman general during the triumph ceremony in the streets of Rome.
But this thought developed especially with Christianity, whose insistence on heaven, hell, and the salvation of the soul brought death to the forefront of concerns. This is why most memento mori are products of Christian art.
Moreover, during the enthronement ceremony of a new pope, it was customary for a monk to appear three times in front of him to burn a wick of oakum at his feet and announce to him "Sancte Pater, sic transit gloria mundi": "Holy Father, thus passes the glory of the world".
Our bust is intended to remind its owner daily that he is a mere mortal, despite his wealth and his power.
This type of work reserved for a highly educated elite is extremely rare today.
Few copies have reached us, in particular because of destruction due to a misunderstanding of the message delivered….
In view of its very misleading naturalism, it is possible that the skull of our bust was directly molded on a real skull.