Unknown, Cast of a bust of Michelangelo
Unknown, Cast of a bust of Michelangelo
Unknown, Cast of a bust of Michelangelo
Unknown, Cast of a bust of Michelangelo

Cast of a bust of Michelangelo


RA Collection: Art

On free display in Central Hall

This portrait bust of Michelangelo is one of eight busts of artists and architects installed in the 'Octagon' in the Main Galleries at Burlington House when the RA moved there in 1868.

The cast was made from a bust by Michael Rysbrack (1694-1770), one of the leading sculptors of the 18th century. Rysbrack produced many portrait busts of historical figures including the artists Rubens and Van Dyck, and the architects Palladio and Inigo Jones. These were much in demand for the decoration of libraries, reflecting British patrons’ growing appreciation of their artistic forebears.

The bust has much in common with the bronze bust made by Danielle da Volterra (1509-66), a close associate of Michelangelo, in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence. This bust (or a cast of it) can be seen in Sir Joshua Reynolds’ self-portrait in the RA collection.

Further Reading

Margaret Whinney, Sculpture in Britain 1530-1830, London, 1988, p.169

Object details

Cast of a bust of Michelangelo
Object type

710 mm x 570 mm x 290 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
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