Marcus Antonius Primus
This is one of the busts carved by Marc Arcis for the galerie des Illustres in the Capitole around 1674. Arcis was still very young (22 years old) but the maturity and power of the sculpture are striking. The busts were presented in niches, high in the walls, and accompanied the bust of the king glorified by military trophies and standards. Under each bust was an inscription detailing in what way these men had served their country. There were church men, writers, scholars, politicians and just one artist: Nicolas Bachelier. Marcus Antonius Primus is presented with his meticulously observed antique costume. It is a terracotta, whitewashed to imitate marble. This Roman soldier was a 1st century military man and a Roman senator originally from Toulouse whose life story (Tacitus, Martial) is uneven, to say the least.