The Wolsey bust is made of "indestructable" silicon bronze
Sculptor David Annand has created a bronze bust of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, giving a preview of the statue which will be unveiled in Ipswich next year.
The artist is soon to start work on the £90,000 tribute to Wolsey, who was born in Ipswich around 1470 and became Henry VIII's lord chancellor.
The statue aims to highlight Wolsey's reputation as a great educator.
"He was 500 years ahead of his time," said Dr John Blatchley, chairman of the Patrons of the Wolsey Statue Project.
One of Wolsey's dreams was to establish a Cardinal College in Ipswich but all that can be seen of his legacy now is Wolsey's Gate and St Peter's Church.
"Pleasure is to mingle with study that the child may think learning an amusement rather than a toil," said Dr Blatchley, quoting Wolsey.
Artist's impression shows how the finished statue should look
"He was an Ipswich lad and we're proud of him."
Dr Blatchley said the bust will accompany him on talks during the final stages of fundraising for the statue but will have a more permanent home at Grafton House, the headquarters of Ipswich Borough Council, or the Ipswich Tourist Office.
The completed statue of Wolsey will be erected on Curson Plain, at the corner of Silent Street.
It is due to be unveiled on 29 June, 2011.