A Renaissance Portrait bust of the Florentine physician Giovanni Chellini
Updated: Apr 19, 2021
The V&A Museum, London.
Whilst the pandemic continues to bring world-wide turmoil in its wake, the eminent and venerable Florentine physician and teacher, Giovanni Chellini, smiles reassuringly from his plinth in the Renaissance Galleries at the V&A in South Kensington. The sculptor Antonio Rossellino created this extraordinarily life-like portrait bust in 1456. Doctor Chellini receives few visitors these days whilst the museum is closed but he waits patiently, his inherent intelligence, wisdom and warmth transcending the cold hard marble from which he is made. Although Chellini lived in the 15th Century, his stance and obvious compassion are reminiscent of the doctors and scientists who have informed, advised and cajoled us from behind their lecterns during many televised briefings over the past year.