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Busts

Busts

Hello, everyone! So, what are we going to talk about today? 

Busts!

Yes, we’ll tell you about some lovely busts, all with something in common: they will be all photographed in rows. 

In contemporary decor, busts tend to be placed on prominent display, all the better if on a pedestal and set by themselves. 

This was not how it was in antique collections, where they were usually displayed one after another, rather like for paintings in the prestigious picture galleries of noble families with the paintings arranged one after the other almost reaching the ceiling. 

For instance, if you go to see the collections of Palazzo Corsini or Galleria Colonna in Rome, you’ll be amazed to see dozens or even hundreds of paintings that seem almost stacked on top of each other, making it hard or even impossible to appreciate them. 

Of course, this all had to do with powerful families competing to show off, but there must be some other cultural explanation that we contemporaries don’t get.

But back to our busts. We can see how different they are from each other.

They differ in material and especially in eras: we’ll look at busts from Ancient Rome, which are, of course, in marble, and plaster heads in full Modernist style, neoclassical terracotta busts, and bronze sculptures in pure Abstract style. 

We see many gorgeous series of marble busts from Ancient Rome whose subjects are usually emperors, philosophers, and prominent figures in general, though there are also plenty of severe matrons.

Many modern artists, such as Giacometti, loved bronze, and their subjects were common men, such as his famous “Walking Man.” 

My favorites are ancient classic busts, such as the magnificent two-faced Janus, though I cannot deny the appeal of the statue by Zadkine, which evokes such powerful emotion in just a few lines.