One of the most individual sculptors of his age, Francesco Mochi possessed an astounding technical prowess. The sharp turn of the youth’s head, his distant gaze, and his parted lips are all characteristic of the immediacy of Baroque sculpture, and his vaguely classical dress suggests a historicizing context. This work may have been conceived as a portrait, but it is more likely a biblical or mythological subject. Its scale suggests that it was intended as an object for private contemplation.


  • Title: Bust of a Youth (Saint John the Baptist?)
  • Creator: Francesco Mochi (Italian, 1580–1654)
  • Date Created: 1630/40
  • Physical Dimensions: 40.5 × 33 × 29 cm (15 7/8 × 13 × 11 3/8 in.)
  • Type: Sculpture
  • External Link: The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Media: Marble, on variegated black marble socle
  • Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, from the collection of the estate of Federico Gentili di Giuseppe; restricted gift of Mrs. Harold T. Martin through the Antiquarian Society; Major Acquisitions Centennial Endowment; through prior gift of Arthur Rubloff; European Decorative Arts Purchase Fund, 1989.1
  • Artist: Francesco Mochi (Italian, 1580–1654)

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