VITTORE GIUSEPPE GHISLANDI, CALLED FRA' GALGARIO | PORTRAIT OF A MAN, BUST LENGTH, WEARING A BLACK SILK HAT
Sold Without Reserve
VITTORE GIUSEPPE GHISLANDI, CALLED FRA' GALGARIO
Bergamo 1655 - 1743
PORTRAIT OF A MAN, BUST LENGTH, WEARING A BLACK SILK HAT
oil on canvas
canvas: 20½ by 14 in.; 52.1 by 35.6 cm.
framed: 28½ by 22½ in.; 72.4 by 57.2 cm.
The canvas is thinly lined. A handsome sitter presents well, though there are minor abrasions here and there like on the dark background at left. There is craquelure throughout, though most noticeably on the bottom left quadrant where there is a pindot of loss at center right. Inspection under UV is difficult to read due to a milky varnish, though there appear to be scattered spots of retouches on his white ruffles, and the outline of his face, mostly at right. Meanwhile, more dedicated cosmetic tiny spots of retouches are scattered on his face like his proper right eye. Older spots of retouches could be scattered on the background and his dark shirt, though reading is impeded due to the varnish. Offered in a giltwood frame with ornate decorations.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Vittore Ghislandi entered the Order of the Minims in the monastery of Galgario in Bergamo in 1702, at the age of forty-seven, and henceforward was known by the name of the saint after whom the monastery was named. He was an Italian painter mainly active in Bergamo, who distinguished himself as a portraitist during the late Baroque and Rococo. Fra' Galgario joined the Studio of Sebastiano Bombelli in Venice circa 1690, which accounts for the vibrant colors and paint layering he developed. The palette and technique he acquired in Venice was fused with the static tradition of portraiture in Bergamo, creating a unique style that became very popular both at home and abroad. Among those who commissioned his paintings was Marshal Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg (1661–1774), perhaps the most formidable collector of the eighteenth century.
The texture created in this work is typical of Fra' Galgario's paintings. The roundness of the eyes and fixed gaze of the sitter is reminiscent of a Testa di giovane now in a private collection, Milan.(1) What is particularly striking between these two portraits is the fold at the bottom of the chin, which is so characteristic and personalized that it makes you think if they are in fact of the same person.
1. See M.C. Gozzoli, Fra' Galgario, Bergamo 1981, reproduced p. 90.