Algardi was Europe's foremost sculptor in the 17th century and his importance as a Baroque sculptor is second only to that of Bernini.

This bust of Antonio Cerri (1569-1642) can be counted among his best portraits achieving its effect through the sensitivity of the likeness and the sober but exquisite handling of such details as the beard and the tassel, in which Algardi's technique of carving and drilling marble is brilliantly displayed. The Cerri family coat of arms, represented on the plinth of the bust, was an uprooted oak tree. Manchester only managed to save this work from export after launching a public campaign.


Thomas Hope, Deepdene, Dorking; by descent to Lord Francis Pelham Clinton Hope, Christie's 1917; Mrs W Burns; Walter S M Burns; Major General Sir George Burns, Christie's 1979; Agnew.

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