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Title Cardinal Portocarrero
Collection Museum of the Order of St John, St John Ambulance, London
Artist After Favray, Antoine de (French painter, 1706-ca.1791)
Date Earliest 1760
Date Latest possibly about 1800
Description Portrait of Cardinal Joachimus Ferdinandus Portocarrero (1681-1760), a copy after the original in the National Museum of Fine Arts in Malta, commissioned to commemorate the Cardinal's will, as shown in the letter he is holding. Although in this version the letter does not contain any visible writing, in the original it clearly states, '... et je laisse mon bien a la Religion Card. Joachin Portocarrero 1760'. His bequest to the Order (it was customary in any case that all property belonging to members should be retained by the Order on their deaths), consisted of 4670 manuscripts and books which, together with Guerin de Tencin's collection, form the core of the Public Library of Malta. Portocarrero led an active military life as General of the Galleys before joining the Conventual chaplains of the Tongue of Castille and being appointed Cardinal in 1743. His persistence in wearing the cross of the Order after his appointment as Prince of the Church caused some controversy. This issue, which had been a bone of contention since the time of Grand Master Verdala, was finally settled in 1745, when Pope Benedict XIV officially allowed the cross to be worn over the red cape (or mozzetta), as a symbol of the vows taken by the wearer.
Current Accession Number LDOSJ:1729
Subject portrait (Cardinal Joachimus Ferdinandus Portocarrero)
Measurements 74 x 61 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased 1917.
Notes The original may be found in Paintings at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Malta, Rodriguez, Antonio Espinosa, Malta, 1990, cat. no. 111, 'Portrait of Cardinal Portocarrero'.
Rights Owner Museum of the Order of St John
Author Malcolm Barclay



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