Portrait Bust of Pope Clement X, modeled c. 1668 (cast late 17th century)

Elected pope in 1670 at the age of eighty, Clement X at first refused to accept the job, but then launched into a frenzy of activity during his papacy of six years. In this sculptural likeness, Clement’s turned head and the dramatic folds of his robes suggest a man engaged in dynamic conversation. His embroidered stole shows the papal insignia—the crossed keys and the tiara—and the six stars from the pope’s family coat of arms. Bernini, the pope’s frequent go-to artist, and his contemporaries in Rome breathed new energy into an old art form, the portrait bust, by focusing on the living presence and personality of their sitters.

Portrait Bust of Pope Clement X
Artist Life
Italian, 1598–1680
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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