In 1376, the skull of Saint Juliana, the gift of the brothers of San Domenico to the Perugian convent dedicated to the saint, was carried in procession and received by Abbess Gabriella. This beguiling image cradled the relic and was placed in an elaborate tabernacle, where it remained until its sale in the late nineteenth century. The band along the lower edge of the bust is inscribed, on the front: [C]APUD SANTE IULIANE [head of Saint Juliana] and, on the back: ROMA. A. D[OMINO]. GUILLE[LMO] [Rome, year of Our Lord, William]. The engraving is not very accomplished, and the mention of a "William," arguably a patron, remains unexplained.
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Title:Reliquary Bust of Saint Juliana
Artist:Circle of Giovanni di Bartolo (Italian, active 1364–1404)
Medium:Copper, gilding, gesso, and tempera paint
Dimensions:Overall: 11 1/16 x 9 x 8 3/8 in. (28.1 x 22.9 x 21.3 cm)
Credit Line:The Cloisters Collection, 1961
Inscription: (front): [C]APUD [should be CAPUT] + SANT[A]E + IULIAN[A]E (head of Saint Juliana)
(back): ROMA + A + D[OMINO] + GUILL[ELMO] (Rome, from master William)
Private Collection (by 1939–sold 1960) ; [ Brimo de Laroussilhe, Paris (in 1960–sold 1961)]
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The Middle Ages: Treasures from The Cloisters and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 18, 1970–March 29, 1970.
Chicago. Art Institute of Chicago. "The Middle Ages: Treasures from The Cloisters and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 16, 1970–July 5, 1970.
Museum Schnütgen. "Die Parler un der schöne Stil 1350-1400," November 29, 1978–March 28, 1979.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Culture," September 26, 2006–February 18, 2007.
Complesso Museale Santa Maria della Scala. "The Early Renaissance in Siena," March 26, 2010–July 11, 2010.
Santa Maria della Scala. "Da Jacopo della Quercia a Donatello: Le arti a Siena nel primo Rinascimento," March 26–July 11, 2010.
London. British Museum. "Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe," June 23, 2011–October 9, 2011.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. "Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body," March 21–July 22, 2018.
Hoving, Thomas. "The Face of St. Juliana: The Transformation of a Fourteenth Century Reliquary." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 21, no. 5 (January 1963). pp. 174, 176–177, 180, fig. 1, 4, 6, 8.
Ostoia, Vera K. The Middle Ages: Treasures from the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1969. no. 81, pp. 176–7, 259.
Gómez-Moreno, Carmen. "Curatorial Reports and Departmental Accessions." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 109 (Jul. 1, 1978 - Jun. 30, 1979). p. 39.
Legner, Anton, ed. Die Parler und der schöne Stil, 1350-1400: Europäische Kunst unter den Luxemburgern. Vol. 1. Cologne: Museen der Stadt Köln, 1978. p. 33.
Wixom, William D. "Medieval Sculpture at The Cloisters." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 46, no. 3 (Winter 1988-1989). p. 40.
Reinburg, Virginia. "Remembering the Saints." In Memory and the Middle Ages, edited by Nancy Netzer, and Virginia Reinburg. Chestnut Hill, Mass.: Boston College Museum of Art, 1995. pp. 25–26, fig. 11.
Boehm, Barbara Drake. "Body-Part Reliquaries: The State of Research." Gesta 36, no. 1 (1997). pp. 10–11, fig. 3.
Little, Charles T., ed. Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Sculpture. New York, New Haven, and London: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006. no. 73, pp. 180–182.
Seidel, Max, ed. Da Jacopo della Quercia a Donatello: Le arti a Siena nel primo Rinascimento. Milano: Federico Motta Editore, 2010. no. F.4.a, pp. 424,436–439.
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