Purchased in 1952, this work represents the head of a young boy, slightly raised with lips parted. The modelling is reminiscent of Medardo Rosso’s wax sculptures and the surface appears to consist of flakes of material.
The sculpture is an example of Pietro Foglia’s plastic research between the end of the 1940s and the early 1950s. During that period the artist executed small pieces that were often heads and religious subjects. These works look as though they have been modelled rapidly, like his oil paintings executed with swift, decorative brushstrokes.
The artist had been a pupil of Felice Casorati at the Albertina Academy in Turin, in the 1930s. Subsequently in the postwar years, after a course of training that had taken him to various Italian cities Foglia returned to Cremona where he received many public commissions.
However, in his non-official works such as Small Head of an Adolescent, the artist preferred to adopt a sketchy style of modelling that was particularly appreciated by Milanese collectors but which, compared to Head of a Boy by Alberto Bazzoni, also in the Collection, is closer to the nineteenth-century in approach.