PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF GIANCARLO BARONI
This portrait was once owned by the British painter William Holman Hunt who, together with the artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848. They, together with John Everett Millais, sought to revitalise art by emphasising the detailed - and above all truthful - observation of the natural world. Holman Hunt eventually gave up painting due to his failing eyesight. His small collection of Old Masters included four Venetian paintings, amongst which a panel by Giovanni Cariani and the present portrait (considered by him to be by Titian). The portrait was published by Holman Hunt's grand-daughter Diana (see Literature) and for a general discussion of Holman Hunt's pictures see E. Waterhouse, "Holman Hunt's 'Giovanni Bellini' and the Pre-Raphaelites' own early Italian pictures", in The Burlington Magazine, vol. CXXIII, no. 941, August 1981, pp. 473-77.
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