FELICI, Vincenzo
(b. ca. 1657, Roma, d. 1715, Roma)

John Percival, First Earl of Egmont

Marble, height 83,8 (with socle)
National Portrait Gallery, London

By the late seventeenth century, there was a revival of interest in the Classical bust, and copies for private collectors and portrait busts in an antique style became fashionable. This seems to have been prompted by British travellers on the Grand Tour. An extremely early example was made by Vincenzo Felici for John Percival, later Earl of Egmont. Carved in Rome, the bust presents the sitter in the guise of a Roman emperor, the drapery over his shoulder revealing a tunic and breastplate. His hair is treated in a series of tight curls, the face turned to the right, reminiscent of the famous late antique bust of the Emperor Caracalla. Though the pupils are slightly incised, the face is devoid of any expression. The bust was far removed from Felici's normal style, which generally followed the late Baroque manner of his master Domenico Guidi (1625-1701).