Joseph Wilton Bust of Dr Antonio Cocchi

Joseph Wilton
Bust of Dr Antonio Cocchi, 1755

V&A Images / Victoria and Albert Museum

Dr Cocchi (1695–1758) was a widely respected physician and scholar in Florence, who befriended many British visitors to the city. The Greek inscription on the medallion on the base can be translated as ‘Antonio Cocchi / Age 60 / 1755 / I go on learning as I grow old’. The strikingly bald and bare-chested sitter is depicted by the English sculptor Wilton in a highly animated and naturalistic style, although the austere representation also recalls antique Roman busts.