Property from a European Private Collection
NORTH ITALIAN SCHOOL, FIRST QUARTER OF THE 16TH CENTURY
PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG NOBLEMAN
oil on canvas
32 by 28⅛ in.; 81.3 by 71.5 cm.
The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, email@example.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.
This work has been recently restored. The canvas has a glue lining. The paint layer is clean. The varnish could be slightly freshened to eliminate a few small scuffs. The restorations are numerous in many areas, particularly in the background and in the darker colors of the figure, including his hair, clothing and hat. The retouches to the face are visible under ultraviolet light. There is a fairly large damage which interrupts the bridge of the nose, the inside of the eye socket on the right and continues in a line in the cheek on the right. The hands and gloves show small spots of fairly consistent retouches throughout. The restorations look well and the work can be hung in its current state.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."
Charles Loeser (1864-1928), Torri Gattaia, Florence;
By whom posthumously sold, London, Sotheby's, 9 December 1959, lot 14 (as Dosso Dossi);
In the possession of the current owners since at least 1984.
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Oxford 1932, p. 174 (as Dosso Dossi);
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Central Italian and North Italian Schools, London 1968, vol. I, p. 111 (as Dosso Dossi, where called "Youth behind parapet (?)).
The author of this striking portrait, who has yet to be identified, was a painter of considerable talent. Indeed, the quality of its execution is so high that for many years the canvas was thought to be by the Ferrarese artist, Dosso Dossi, and a depiction of the young Hapsburg Emperor Charles V or possibly his brother Ferdinand I (see, for example, the depiction Ferdinand I by Hans Maler in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) . Recent scholarly opinion on both identifications varies to a wide extent, but general consensus would appear to place the picture in northern Italy, likely in the Veneto, and datable to the first quarter of the sixteenth century.
That the sitter has yet to be confirmed is all the more puzzling given the picture’s impeccable detail and specificity of execution. The artist reproduces the face of the handsome young nobleman with naturalistic precision, conveying the shape of his lips, almond eyes and sharp nose with careful individuality. The strict linearity of the face and clothing call to mind certain north Italian painters who took Germanic and Netherlandish contemporaries as a technical point of departure. In this respect, examples by Bartolomeo Veneto and Bernardino Campi may serve as close comparisons for identification for this beguiling and beautiful portrait.
1. In private correspondence, Dr. Hermann Voss previously proposed an attribution to Dosso Dossi.