Fragmentary colossal marble head of a youth Greek, Hellenistic period, 2nd century B.C. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
Although this extraordinary head has long been known, its function and importance have only recently been understood. The youth, with long curling locks and a brooding expression, was originally part of a draped bust set into a marble roundel almost four feet in diameter. It is probably among the earliest known sculptures of this type (imagines clipeatae) in marble and over life-size in scale. It would have been one of several that adorned the walls of a particular grand space in the gymnasium of ancient Pergamon. He may represent a young god or possibly Alexander the Great. Even in its damaged condition, the head exemplifies the combination of sensitivity and presence characteristic of the finest Hellenistic Pergamene sculpture.
The Fontana sisters, Micol, Zoe and Giovanna, designed this dress for Ava Gardner to wear in the 1954 film “The Barefoot Contessa.” Gardner was a devoted client of the Fontana Sisters, on and off the screen, and her patronage helped them to gain notoriety and achieve the success they did, particularly in America. The 1950s in particular saw great success for the house, as they designed for many American actresses and luminaries as well as Italian dignitaries and aristocrats. Known for their wasp-waisted, full-skirted evening dresses dripping with style, the sisters used high-quality, beautiful materials and frequently decorated the sumptuous silks and velvets with exquisite embroidery, as evidenced in this example.