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Title Portrait of a Genoese Nobleman
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Strozzi, Bernardo (Italian painter, 1581-1644)
Date Earliest about 1610
Date Latest about 1615
Description The sitter has not been identified though Maria Clelia Galassi [?] has suggested it could be Raffaello Chiabrera, one of the most important Italian poets during the seventeenth century (letter in gallery archives). He wears an informal fur lined cloak. The clock on the table is likely to be German and is of a type described as a tower or belfry clock. From the Renaissance onwards, clocks were frequently included in portraits and they were no doubt intended to illustrate the permanence of the painted image in contrast to the transience of life itself.

Mortari (1962, p. 24) places the picture very early. She compares it with the Deposition in the Accademia Ligustica, Genoa and The Penitent Magdalene in the Palazzo Bianco and dates it to 1610-1615.

Current Accession Number 1971P3
Former Accession Number P.371
Subject portrait (Genoese nobleman)
Measurements 127.0 x 101.6 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased from Wengraf, Herner Ltd 1971.
Provenance Julius Weitzner.
Principal Exhibitions Venetian Seventeenth Century Painting, National Gallery, London, 1979, cat. no. 18.
Publications Mortari, L., Bernardo Strozzi, 1962, pp. 24, 144; Mortari, L., Bernardo Strozzi, 1966, pp. 26, 48, 144; Bernardo Strozzi, Genoa, Palazzo Ducale (ex cat) 1995, p. 51-52; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 1369.
Notes The red curtain is different in both colour and technique from the other reds in the picture and may well be a later, even if near contemporary, addition.
Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth



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