Bust of Ercole II d’Este and Plinth with Allegory of Patience

Prospero Sogari Spani, detto il Clemente

Reggio Emilia, 1516 – 1584



Duke Ercole II d’Este commissioned this bust and splendid plinth to the Emilian sculptor.. Following the advice of his brother, Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, the Duke chose the depiction of Patience as his personal emblem, dedicating a camerino of the Castello Estense in Ferrara to the theme with decorations including this bust and a painting of the same allegory by Camillo Filippi. Patience is portrayed as an enchained woman waiting to be freed by the drops of water that fall from a jug onto her bonds. The imagery of Patience used here had previously been developed by the painter Giorgio Vasari for the Bishop of Arezzo, Bernardo Minerbetti, as attested by the painting now in the Galleria Palatina in Palazzo Pitti, Florence.