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

Bust of a Young Woman

Marble, height 53 cm
Frick Collection, New York

This bust suffered considerable damage over time which was repaired by modern restorations (most recently in 1988). It is probably modeled on Desiderio da Settignano's bust of Marietta Strozzi. Verrocchio must have learned the art of marble carving from Desiderio and the most outstanding example of this training is the present bust.

The decorative motifs on the young woman's sleeves led to the conclusion that she might be identified as a member of the family of the mercenary general Bartolomeo Colleoni, who fathered numerous daughters, both legitimate and illegitimate, including Medea, who died in 1470 at the age of eighteen, and buried in the Colleoni Chapel in Bergamo. This identification is not universally accepted.