In addition to his frescoes and altarpieces, Baciccio was also recognized for his skills in the realm of portraiture. In contrast to the lively brushwork of his frescoes, his portraits were defined by an elegance and refinement reminiscent of Anthony van Dyck. As one of the most important portraitists of the second half of the seventeenth century in Rome, Baciccio captured the likenesses of many esteemed sitters including Bernini as well as all seven popes from Alexander VII to Clement IX. Perhaps among his most captivating portraits, however, were those he made of himself. In the present self-portrait, Baciccio situates himself at the center of a small, oval copper plate. Wearing a dark billowy coat, a white collar, and ruffled white cuffs, he directly engages his audience with a kind and inquisitive countenance, standing within his studio in front of a blank canvas wielding a paint brush and palette, as if about to begin a new portrait.
Another version of this self-portrait on copper can be found in the Koelliker Collection, Milan.1 According to Petrucci, the facial features of the artist as well as the costume suggest a date of about 1675, around the same time that Baciccio completed the version of his arresting self portrait now in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.2
1. Oil on copper, 17 by 13 cm. See Petrucci, under Literature, p. 357, cat. no. A4, reproduced.
2. See Petrucci, under Literature, p. 356, cat. no. A3b, reproduced.
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