Purchased from Oronzio Lelli in 1885 for 16s 8d (200 lire)
Benedetto da Maiano (1441-97)
Museo Nazionale (Bargello), Florence, Italy
The bust is signed: BENEDICTVS MAIANVS FECIT and inscribed with the sitter's name and the date PETRI MELLINI.FRANCISCI FILII.IMAGO HEC.AN.1474. Pietro Mellini was a wealthy Florentine merchant who also commissioned from Benedetto the pulpit in S. Croce of which a cast is shown behind this bust (museum no. 1884-639) and a tabernacle in Assisi carved by the Maiano workshop. This detailed portrait appears to have been based on a life mask and the final version in marble would have been preceded by a terracotta sketch model similar to the terracotta study in Berlin for Benedetto's marble portrait of Filippo Strozzi in the Louvre. A cast of the Berlin terracotta sketch is also in the collection at the V&A, museum no. 1864-15.