(Loro Ciuffenna early 16th century - 1574 Florence)
PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN. BUST LENGTH, FACING LEFT, WITH A WHITE LACE COLLAR
oil on panel
21¼ by 15⅜ in.; 54 by 39.1 cm.
The panel is cradled, stable, and appears to be made of two vertical boards joined at center. The images presents well beneath an old varnish, despite the relatively prominent vertical grain of the wood. There are three thin cracks near the center that follow the grain of the wood, for example in his proper right cheek, though these are not distracting. Most of the retouching is visible to the naked eye, for example in the green of the background, in the details of his costume, some spots in his face like at his upper brow, and along the vertical join. Inspection under UV reveals a milky varnish that impedes some inspection. The aforementioned retouches fluoresce, as do some strokes of strengthening in his hair. There may be some older spots of retouching in his cheeks. Offered in a dark wood frame with a decoratively carved gilt liner.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Anonymous sale, New York, Christie's East, 8 November 1984, lot 127 (as Attributed to Pier Francesco di Jacopo Foschi);
Carlo Portelli trained under Ridolfo Ghirlandaio and worked as a draughtsman and painter in Florence. His style is closely linked to other Mannerist painters such as Pontormo, Bronzino and Francesco Salviati, the latter with whom he worked on decorations for the wedding of Cosimo de' Medici to Elenora de Toledo in 1539. The present portrait likely dates to the mid 1550s, and it compares stylistically to other known works by Portelli of that period, including his signed and dated Annunciation (1555) in the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Arezzo  and a Portrait of a Woman in the Rijksmuseum . When this portrait last appeared on the market, the possibility of this being a portrait of Ferdinando de Medici was suggested.
We are grateful to Dr. Simone Giordani for proposing this attribution on the basis of photographs and for suggesting a date of circa 1555.
1. Oil on panel, 217 by 165 cm, See Carlo Portelli Pittore Eccentrico Fra Rosso Fiorentino E Vasari, exhibition catalogue, Florence 2015, pp. 182-183, cat. no. 35, reproduced.
2. Oil on panel, 114.4 by 78 cm, inv. no. SK-A-3009. Formerly attributed to Francesco Foschi, and more recently identified as a work of Portelli. See ibid., pp. 226-227, cat. no. IV, reproduced.