264
264
Pier Francesco Mola
HEAD OF AN ELDERLY BEARDED MAN, POSSIBLY HOMER OR SOCRATES
Estimate
40,00060,000
JUMP TO LOT
264
Pier Francesco Mola
HEAD OF AN ELDERLY BEARDED MAN, POSSIBLY HOMER OR SOCRATES
Estimate
40,00060,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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Pier Francesco Mola
COLDRERIO 1612 - 1666 ROME
HEAD OF AN ELDERLY BEARDED MAN, POSSIBLY HOMER OR SOCRATES

Provenance

Possibly Antonio Amici Moretti, Rome, in 1690;
Roy Clyde Gardner, Mississippi, circa 1970;
By whom bequeathed in 2004 to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, until 2010.

Exhibited

Possibly A. Giammaria and L. Spezzaferro, Archivio del collezionismo romano, Pisa 2009, p. 54.
F. Petrucci, Pier Francesco Mola (1612-1666): Materia e colore nella pittura del ‘600, Rome 2012, p. 390, cat. no. B118, reproduced.

Catalogue Note

A native of the Ticino, Mola moved to Rome with his family when he was four and would grow to become a renowned Baroque artist. With the exception of two extended trips, one to Venice and the another to Bologna, Mola otherwise remained in Rome until his death.

Mola has a vast oeuvre, which includes portraits of diverse ancient literary figures. Although their identities  vary from portrait to portrait, the sitters were all portrayed as elderly bearded figures deep in thought wearing a wreath of laurel on their heads. This painting has traditionally been said to represent Socrates, but Francesco Petrucci presented in the artist's monograph that it could be Homer.1 Regardless of its subject, Mola's talent as an artist is evident here in the fine detail of the beard and the pronounced features of the face. It has been suggested that this work was conceived as a preliminary for a larger composition, which might explain the proportions of the head.2

1. F. Petrucci, Pier Francesco Mola (1612-1666): Materia e colore nella pittura del ‘600, Rome 2012, p. 390, cat. no. B118.
2. Ibid.

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New York