This intriguing portrait dates from the middle of the century, when the Mannerist style had taken over all facets of Florentine art, including portraiture. On the basis of an image Dottor Carlo Falciani, to whom we are grateful, has tentatively associated the portrait with Maso da San Friano, one of the talented painters of Francesco de Medici's Studiolo, in Palazzo Vecchio. He specifically compares the nose structure to figures in Maso's 'Fall of Icarus' in the Studiolo.
The panel is flat and cradled, presumably to stabilise some old, vertical cracks, which are visible to the naked eye through discoloured retouchings; one of these runs the length of the panel, to the right of the sitter's head, and the second runs the length of the panel through the left of the sitter's face. There is also a degree of wear throughout the black of the sitter's cap and coat, and the varnish appears a little uneven. Inspection under ultraviolet light confirms these aforementioned retouchings along the cracks, and there are some further small patches of restoration: an area on the lower left margin, measuring approx. 2 x 1 in.; another larger patch in the lower right corner; scattered largely in the left side of the sitter's face and in his collar; and scattered in the background. 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.