Patinated and gilded bronze

20 × 16 × 15 cm (7 7/8 × 6 5/16 × 5 7/8 in.)

Half-head, half-mask, Tamerlano is the bronze exterior of a plaster cast of a face. The two bamboo rods protruding from the nose were essential for the model's breathing. They represent the close link between inside and outside, suggesting that the work is alive. The group is surrounded by a golden crown that inspired Luciano Fabro to name it after Tamerlane, a Turkic-Mongolian warrior-conqueror. History, mythology and natural elements dialogue with each other in this sculpture.

A key figure in Arte Povera, Fabro aims to make his works immediately intelligible thanks to the empirical nature of the various materials he uses. He conceives the art work as a tool of knowledge to be grasped by seeing and thinking. With this in mind, he always presents the external reality in connection with the interior, as in Tamerlane’s face.

Tamerlane was first shown by the Pinault Collection at the 2015 "Slip of the Tongue" exhibition at the Punta della Dogana.