DESCRIZIONE: This portrait of oriental inspiration is characterised by a marked sense of solemnity and composure. The artist was to say, "The Japanese are born statues, by their very natures they seem immobile and to defy time". This image is overlaid – almost merged – with the bust of Manzù's wife and model, Inge Schabel, whom he portrayed in 1967 in the manner of ancient Etruscan funerary vases. The animated movement of the large sleeves is countered by the stillness and smoothness of her bust. The modelling of the face, with its half-closed eyes, fleshy parted lips and gathered hair, accentuates the refined delicacy of the features, and the bearing of the figure.