318
318
Ottavio Maria Leoni
PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN, POSSIBLY CASSIANO DAL POZZO
Estimate
7,0009,000
LOT SOLD. 17,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
318
Ottavio Maria Leoni
PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN, POSSIBLY CASSIANO DAL POZZO
Estimate
7,0009,000
LOT SOLD. 17,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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Ottavio Maria Leoni
ROME 1587 - 1630
PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN, POSSIBLY CASSIANO DAL POZZO

Provenance

Possibly Ottavio Leoni,
by descent to his son Ippolito Leoni;
Probably Cardinal Scipione Borghese;
Probably Prince Marcantonio Borghese, 1642 (according to Giovanni Baglione);
Probably Jean Bouteroue Marquis d' Aubigny, Paris, sold in 1747;
sale, London, Sotheby’s 10 December 1968, lot 38,
to Colnaghi;
Private Collection, Paris

Exhibited

W.R. Jeudwine, Alpine Club Gallery, London 10-21 November 1964, no. 13

Literature

Y. Primarosa, Ottavio Leoni (1578-1630). Eccellente miniator di ritratti, catalogo ragionato dei disegni e dei dipinti, Rome 2017, p. 590, no. 552

Catalogue Note

Expressive and spontaneously drawn, this handsome portrait belongs to a corpus of more than four hundred drawings by the artist and some by his son Ippolito, which according to Giovanni Baglione were in the collection of the Prince Marcantonio Borghese (1601-1658), in 1642.1  The biography of Baglione is the only contemporary commentary on the artist's life. Baglione informs us that Ottavio Leoni was the leading portraitist of his time, in both drawings and paintings, but hardly any of the numerous painted portraits by the artist that are mentioned in old inventories, many of them made for his patron Scipione Borghese, have been identified.3

In Primarosa's entry for the present portrait (see Literature), he suggests the sitter depicted here may be Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588-1657), the celebrated Italian scholar and patron of the arts, who was a great admirer of Ottavio Leoni's work.  This hypothesis is strengthened by comparing the sitter's likeness with a print of Cassiano, executed by Pietro Anichini and Jan van de Hoecke.Our portrait does appear to share certain similarities with the printed portrait, most notably in terms of the hair, moustache and beard.  

It seems that on 9 October 1630, shortly after Ottavio's sudden death, all the drawings that he left to his son, Ippolito, and all the paintings left to his wife, were sold to Cardinal Scipione Borghese (see Provenance).

1.  G. Baglione, Le vite de' pittori, scultori, architetti ed intagliatori, dal ponteficato di Gregorio XIII dal 1572, fino a'tempi di Papa Urbano VIII nel 1642, Rome 1642, p. 321
2.  Ibid, pp. 321-322
3.  C.R. Robbin, 'Scipione Borghese's acquisition of paintings and drawings by Ottavio Leoni', The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 138, July 1996, pp. 453-454
4. Primarosa, op.cit., p. 590, fig. 552.1

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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