The Young Saint John Baptist – Mino Da Fiesole

Almost every artist evolves a type of face which he repeats throughout his work and it is interesting to trace between the two sculptures by Mino da Fiesole in the Altman bequest similarities in general conception and in detail, even though one is a portrait and the other an imaginative presentation of a sacred personage. Despite the fact that age is rep-resented in the bust of a priest and youth in the head of Saint John, both faces have the same pointed oval outline, the same sensitive nose, and the same round eyes with lids overlapping at the corners. The type is hardly beautiful, but Florentine sculptors sought for other things than beauty and the young Baptist is alert, vigorous, and infused with the lively realism of all Mino’s work. The bust was, until recently, the property of the Conte Rasponi Spinelli of Florence.