One of the most important marble and cast metal sculptors of the high Renaissance, Benedetto da Rovezzano (1474 – c.1552) was also a master of terracotta sculpture. He created this Saint John the Baptist, in Florence around 1510, during the time when his contemporaries Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael were also active in the Tuscan city. Clad in a camel-skin tunic, the youthful figure of Saint John is portrayed glancing to the side with an exalted expression. The wooden base of the work is reminiscent of a bleak rocky setting, recalling the biblical account of his sojourn in the desert. With its lifelike modelled hair and detailed, serene physiognomy, this piece is one of the best examples of early Renaissance sculptures currently on the market, embodying the period's ideals of youth and beauty. The presentation of this work previews an exhibition of Renaissance masterpieces that will open at Colnaghi New York in early November.
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