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Pietro Torrigiano made this painted marble bust, along with a painted terracotta bust of St. Gregory, in 1495-1496 when he was living in the house of Stefano Coppi in Rome. It seems to have been displayed in a Roman church, before Coppi (given the busts in order to pay off a debt) donated the two busts to the Spedale di Santa Fina in San Gimignano, his hometown. These busts, now in deposit at the Museo Civico in San Gimignano, were displayed in rounded niches in the hospital chapel. St. Fina, a thirteenth century girl who suffered terrible illness and died at the age of fifteen after having a vision of St. Gregory, is the patron of San Gimignano. While terracotta sculptures were invariably painted or glazed in the fifteenth century, and most marble works were partially polychromed, the preservation of a marble sculpture with the complete surface, including the flesh, painted, is very unusual. The work was painted in oil: the flesh in a thick layer of lead white with some fine grains of vermillion, and the dress also vermillion, this time painted over a layer of lead white, with gold leaf on the trim. In this work, the smooth form of the marble and delicate colouring -- golden hair, flushed cheek, coral lips, pink eyelids and earlobes -- add to the loveliness of this image and make her seem alive. The slightly raised chin and turned head also convey her resolve in the face of terrible suffering, although her flesh is not shown as remotely ravaged by disease here. The arches in the base recall earlier reliquary busts, but there is no cavity for a relic here. The bust of St. Fina had to be adapted to the rounded niche with the addition of a ball of coloured marble, but the St. Gregory bust is curved at the bottom and thus seems to have been made slightly later for the niche. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.