Portrait of a Cardinal
Oil on canvas
cm. 113.5x92.5. With lath frame
The painting bears a brush inscription in the top left-hand corner: 'MDLXVI / RMS. D. GREGORIUS / BARBADICUS PAT.iv VEN.us TER. / ABBAS GENERALIS".
This remarkable unpublished painting is a significant testimony to the high standard of Venetian portraiture of the second half of the 16th century. The canvas stands outside the dominant Titian canon, to adhere to the less powerfully introspective, but no less elegant and formally accomplished line marked by the art of Paolo Veronese. What prevails here is the painter's constant and empathetic intonation towards the person portrayed, while still respecting the connotations of nobility and severity required by the codes of official portraiture of personalities playing socially relevant roles. The inscription in the top left-hand corner is of great interest in terms of both attribution and identification of the sitter. However, it seems to provide controversial information: while the date, 1566, is entirely congruous with the style of the work, the reference to a high prelate of the Barbarigo (or Barbadico) family, one of the most prestigious patrician families of the Serenissima, is not chronologically or even physically plausible. From an attributive point of view, the most solid lead seems to point towards Benedetto Caliari, brother of Paolo Veronese, here at his best. Although all that remains today of his portrait production, which must not have been so sparse, is rare certain evidence, one can call to support the attribution to Benedetto of our painting the remarkable Portrait of Tommaso Giunta of 1563 (Hermitage, St. Petersburg), similar to ours in style, composition and expressive intonation.
Only registered and authorized users are allowed to place bids.
Please use the registration form to send us your participation request, or, if you are already registered and authorized, use the login box on the top.
For any information please contact email@example.com