After Bertoldo di Giovanni (ca. 1440–1491)
Plaster cast (after a bronze original) with paint
9 1/2 × 4 in. (24 × 10 cm)
Made for the Frick by the Gipsformerei, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany, 2018. Original sculpture: The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow (3C 197), transferred after World War II; until 1945 Skulpturensammlung, Staatliche Museen, Berlin (2338)
Photo Michael Bodycomb
This cast was produced from a mold made before World War II, when the original bronze was believed to have been destroyed in Berlin. The heavily damaged Supplicant survives in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, where it was covertly transported in 1946. The subject is unknown. The unidentified object in the right hand may be a sort of vessel. The thick ring around the left ankle may be a shackle. With the gesture of the hand at the chest, the figure acknowledges another presence. It is unknown whether it was part of a figural group or if, like the St. Jerome also on view in the exhibition, the Supplicant appeals to an assumed divine presence. Rough areas on the sacred or secular figure — such as the mounds under the feet — suggest it was unfinished.