125
125

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR

Claudio Ridolfi
PORTRAIT OF PRINCE FEDERICO UBALDO DELLA ROVERE
Estimate
50,00070,000
JUMP TO LOT
125

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR

Claudio Ridolfi
PORTRAIT OF PRINCE FEDERICO UBALDO DELLA ROVERE
Estimate
50,00070,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Drawings including the Collection of Professor Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann

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New York

Claudio Ridolfi
VERONA 1570 - 1644 CORINALDO
PORTRAIT OF PRINCE FEDERICO UBALDO DELLA ROVERE
Oil on paper;
bore an old inscription in pen and brown ink on the former stretcher, now lost: Ritratto del Ultimo Principe di Urbino/opera di Claudio Veronese
380 by 270 mm; 15 by 10 5/8  in
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Catalogue Note

The subject of this delightful and rare portrait is the young Federico Ubaldo della Rovere, only son of Francesco Maria II, Duke of Urbino.  Federico was born in Urbino on 16 May 1605, a great event for the 'ducato'.  As an only child and the heir to the Dukedom, the prince spent most of his life surrounded by courtiers, enjoying music and theater, and acting in plays at court.  In 1621, at the age of sixteen, Federico Ubaldo married Claudia de' Medici, daughter of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinando II.  At this moment he was given most of the responsibilities of the Dukedom, his father Francesco Maria virtually abdicating in his favor.  Federico died in mysterious circumstances only two years later, and the Duchy passed into the possession of the Papal States, signalling the demise of Urbino as an extraordinary center of art and culture.

Claudio Ridolfi, a painter from Verona, was trained in Venice in the workshop of Paolo Veronese.  After the death of the master in 1588, he left Venice, and in 1590 he was already in Urbino.  Ridolfi worked extensively for the court, especially in the early years of the 17th Century, and it is interesting to note that although his previous artistic production mainly consisted of religious subjects, at the court of the della Rovere he mostly painted portraits.  The account book of the Duke of Urbino lists at least three portraits by Ridolfi of Federico Ubaldo, including the full length portrait at five years of age, holding a falcon, now in the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence (fig. 1).

A fascinating aspect of this work is the strong evidence of the influence of Federico Barocci's style and technique, with his luminous palette, especially in the pink tonalities in the rendering of the flesh, and freedom of execution characterized by broad brush strokes over delicate layers of paint.  Barocci seems to have been one of the first Italian artists to make head studies in oil on paper in preparation for his paintings.  The present oil on paper, larger than actual size, must surely have been done in preparation for an official portrait, and it is clearly executed from life, retaining in the quick and lively execution all the naturalistic features and expression of the young child looking directly towards the painter. 

Old Master Drawings including the Collection of Professor Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann

|
New York