Portrait of Cavaliere Francesco Maria Niccolò Gabburri

Object Details


Portrait of Cavaliere Francesco Maria Niccolò Gabburri


Domenico Ferretti (Italian, 1692 - about 1769)






Black chalk, with stumping and brush and gray wash, heightened with white bodycolor, on light brown paper

Object Number:



37 × 23.3 cm (14 9/16 × 9 3/16 in.)

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The Latin inscription on the stone tablet attached to the front of the ledge sums up this portrait: "Francesco Maria Niccolò Gabburri, citizen of Florence, aged sixty-five years, prefect of the Noble Academy of the Art of Painting of the city of Florence, among the best patrons of the Fine Arts, drawn for him as a monument to his noble sprit and given to him by Giovanni Domenco Ferretti, painter from Florence, who did it from the man himself."

A Florentine nobleman, diplomat, painter, and collector, Gabburri appears surrounded by several volumes entitled Lives of Painters, from the series that he wrote but never published. With one hand he points to a round, sculptural relief of Apollo, the god of the arts. Made two years before his death, the drawing glorifies him as a great collector and man of letters.

The formality of this carefully finished portrait suggests that it was meant to be engraved, though scholars know of no existing print. The painstaking physical detail, from the rich draperies to the detailing of the books, together with the subtle modulation of his rich garments all suggest translation into the printed medium.

Posing for Posterity: Portrait Drawings from the Collection (October 30, 2001 to January 20, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 30, 2001 to January 20, 2002