Anthony van Dyck

Portrait of a Man

Portrait of a Man
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Anthony van Dyck
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on canvas, 104x86 cm
Origin: Flanders, 1622-1623s

Virginio Cesarini was a courtier in the service of Cardinal Barberini, the future Pope Urban VIII. He was a colourful figure in Italian cultural and intellectual life of his time: the author of elegant verses in Italian and Latin, a defender of Galileo and the publisher of his works. In this painting Cesarini is portrayed in clothing which shows that he holds an ecclesiastical rank. The pallor of his face, with a sickly blush on the cheeks, tell us this man was seriously ill, in fact dying of tuberculosis in the very prime of life. The dynamic manner in which the work has been painted and the Venetian colour range are very reminiscent of works by Titian, especially The Concert and this indicates that the portrait was made during the artist's stay in Italy in 1623-1624.

Source of entry: Collection of baron L.A. Crozat de Tierra, Paris, 1772
Exibition: Flemish Art: 17th century

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