VERROCCHIO, Andrea del
(b. 1435, Firenze, d. 1488, Venezia)

Giuliano di Piero de' Medici

1475-78
Terracotta (formerly painted), height 61 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

This bust is one of the most renowned Italian sculpted portraits of the fifteenth century, owing both to the celebrated artist who made it, and, even more, to the subject, Giuliano de' Medici (1453-1478), Lorenzo the magnificent's younger brother, who was assassinated during the Pazzi Conspiracy (April 26, 1478).

The terracotta bust has a complicated state of preservation. Once polychromed, it has suffered a number of breaks over time that were repaired either with the original fragments or with plaster.