Description: Jacopo Palma, called Palma Giovane, Venice 1544 - 1628
Portrait of a Gentleman
The present portrait of a distinguished gentleman had long been thought to be by Bartolomeo Passarotti, largely due to the similarity of the puffed hat with similar headgear adorning portraits by that Bolognese master. The costume is in fact typical of the style around the year 1570, as one sees, for example in Giambattista Moroni’s Portrait of Count Spini, datable ca. 1573, in the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo. Other stylistic traits, in particular the pinkish complexion of the subject’s face, had suggested an attribution to Federico Barocci, although the drapery background with its agitated highlights called by Boschini “sfregazzi,” (usually translated as scumbles)-- so typical of Venetian painting highlights, would suggest otherwise.
Location of Origin: Europe
Medium/Materials: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 28 7/8 x 22 inches (73.3 x 55.9 cm.)
Primary Classification: Fine Art : Paintings : Portraits / Figurative
Secondary Classification: All Other Categories : By Style / Period : Haute Epoque / Renaissance
Expertise: It was Dr. Mauro Lucco (written communication, September 2011) who first proposed that Palma Giovane was the author of this compelling portrait. As such, this painting would be an early work and one that reflects what we know of the artist’s early career, as indicated by Borghini (1584), Ridolfi (1648), and Boschini (1660) - that is, that he came under the patronage of Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, where he would have met and been exposed to Barocci’s art. Palma’s earliest dated work, the portrait drawing of Matteo da Lecce in the Morgan Library, dated 1568, is somewhat consonant in style and dress with the present work. Lucco notes the paucity of dated works by Palma from the 1570s: the completion of Titian’s Pietà in 1576-78 is perhaps the only fixed point until the San Giacomo dell'Orio canvases of 1581-83. But it is in that early period of the 1570s that Lucco firmly places the present work.
Provenance: Suida-Manning CollectionPrivate Collection
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