Title: Bust of Cardinal Guido Bentivoglio (1577-1644)
Date: 1630s
Medium: Marble
78.5 x 69 x 33.5 cm
Credit Line: Purchased, 1967 (Shaw Fund)
Object Number: NGI.8030
DescriptionCardinal Guido Bentivoglio was Papal Nuncio in Brussels from 1607 to 1615, and later Cardinal Protector of France in Rome. Here he was in close contact with Rubens and van Dyck, who belonged to the same circle as Duquesnoy. Bentivoglio was also an intimate collaborator of Pope Urban VIII, whose protégé Duquesnoy had become in 1626.

The sculptor intended this bust to be viewed frontally. Although the pose is quite static, the portrait is enlivened by carved details such as the pouches under the eyes and the small groove at the base of the nose. The surface treatment gives the bust a wax - or alabaster - like quality. These attributes, together with a general softness and lack of bold relief, combine to reveal the sitter's intense intellectual physiognomy.
ProvenancePurchased, London, Heim, 1967
Exhibition HistorySummer Exhibition, Heim Gallery, London, 1967

Heads on Shoulders. Portrait Busts in the Low Countries, 1600-1800, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, 12 September - 14 December 2008
Label TextCardinal Bentivoglio was identified as the sitter in this bust by comparison with a full-length portrait of the Cardinal painted by Anthony Van Dyck. Bentivoglio, a member of Pope Urban VIII’s close circle, was a special patron of Flemish artists. For many years the bust was attributed to François Duquesnoy, a Flemish artist, however, it is no longer considered as by him. The cape is masterfully carved, its surface appearing more like moulded wax. The face has a commanding presence that points to a sculptor of some skill in Rome.