Catalogue No. 48
The Head of a Girl

Artist: Piombo, Sebastiano del
The Head of a Girl

c.1485 - 1547
Oil on Panel 13¼ x 11¼ ins

Collection Details
Earl of Malmesbury sale, Christie’s, 1 July 1876, lot 10, as unknown artist: bt by Waters; William Graham, by 1882; his sale, Christie’s, 10 April 1886, lot 443, as Titian; bt in for the family; by descent to Lady Horner; again put up for sale at Christie’s, 30 June 1906, lot 124, as Titian: bt in.  Later sold privately to 1st Lord Faringdon.

 

Literature

Carlo Volpe, L'opera completa di Sebastiano del Piombo, 1980,  No.6a (as possibly an autograph replica of the head in the Kingston Lacy Judgement of Solomon); unaccountably ignored by Michael Hirst in his Sebastiano del Piombo (1981).

Background
The dress as it appears at present is not contemporary with the painting; the hair, veil and left eye have been retouched. It is possible that an interesting Venetian head exists beneath these later additions, since it is evident that this picture is either a study for the head of the Good Mother in Sebastiano’s Judgement of Solomon at Kingston Lacy, subsequently completed by another hand to make it into a marketable picture in its own right, or – more probably – a replica of that head, made for the same reasons.


There is an interesting affinity between both heads and that of the adulteress in the highly contentious Adulteress brought before Christ in the Glasgow Art Gallery.