< Decorative Arts < Works

Bust of Junius Brutus

circa 1775-1780

Wedgwood (English, 1759 - present)

This life-size bust bears a scroll label with the inscription “JUNIUS BRUTUS.” Lucius Junius Brutus (sixth century BCE) is traditionally credited with launching the insurrection in 509 BCE that led to the overthrow of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (d. 495 BCE), his uncle and despotic ruler of Rome. He then, according to legend, helped found the Roman Republic, becoming one of its first two consuls.Busts such as this were produced for fashionable, late 18th-century interiors, especially libraries, decorated in the neoclassical taste. The current bust faces downward, because it would have been placed above a bookcase or a doorway.

Place object was created: Etruria, Staffordshire, England

black basalt, stoneware

Measurements:    height: 21.5 inches

Museum Purchase: Delhom Collection 1965.48.106

Currently on view at Mint Museum RANDOLPH