The J. Paul Getty Museum

Portrait of a Bearded Man

Object Details

Title:

Portrait of a Bearded Man

Artist/Maker:

Jacopo Bassano (Italian, about 1510 or 1515 - 1592)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1550

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Object Number:

69.PA.25

Dimensions:

62.2 × 54.9 cm (24 1/2 × 21 5/8 in.)

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Object Description

Better known for his landscapes and religious scenes, here Bassano paints a portrait of a sitter whose identity is not known. A melancholy, middle-aged man with a florid complexion, a long beard, and large, watery eyes looks to one side, his gaze attentive and seemingly intrigued. Diffused light gracefully illuminates the sitter’s distinctive features, while his delicate pink flesh tones are offset against the minimalist green background. His head inclines to the right as though he is listening to or observing someone outside the picture frame, his mouth partly open, as if ready to speak. The unknown man's slightly protuberant eyes communicate an emotional state that provokes a sympathetic response from the viewer. Jacopo Bassano emphasized the man's strong, physical presence by the darkened shadow cast against the wall on the left.

Bassano’s biographer, Carlo Ridolfi, wrote of the artist’s ability in the genre of portraiture, though relatively few of his portraits have survived. Ridolfi wrote that Bassano was “valued for his portraits”, which were “naturalistically rendered” thanks to the artist’s abilities when working from life.

Provenance
Provenance
by 1880 - 1907

Cyril Flower, first baron Battersea, 1843 - 1907 (London, England; The Pleasaunce, Norfolk, England), by inheritance to his wife, Constance de Rothschild Flower, 1907.
Source: Exhibition of Venetian Art, exh. cat. (London: The New Gallery, 1894), p. 5, no. 20. Exhibited as Moroni.

1907 - 1931

Constance de Rothschild Flower, baroness Battersea, 1843 - 1931 (London, England; The Pleasaunce, Norfolk, England), possibly by inheritance or by gift to her first cousin once removed, Anthony Gustav de Rothschild, 1931.

1931 - 1939

Anthony Gustav de Rothschild, 1887 - 1961 (Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, England) [sold, Rothschild sale, Christie's, London, May 25, 1939, lot 251, to Singer.]

1939 -
- 1964

Carl Marks (New York, New York) [sold, Marks sale, Sotheby's, London, December 2, 1964, lot 125, to Frederick Mont, Inc.]

1964 - 1969

Frederick Mont, Inc. (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1969.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Exhibition of Works by the Old Masters and by Deceased Masters of the British School (January 5 to March 13, 1880) (as Venetian School)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), January 5 to March 13, 1880
Exhibition of Venetian Art (1894 to 1895) (as Moroni.)
  • New Gallery (London), 1894 to 1895
Jacopo Bassano c. 1510 - 1592 (September 5, 1992 to April 25, 1993)
  • Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth), January 23 to April 25, 1993
Bibliography
Bibliography

Exhibition of Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School, Including a Special Collection of Works by Holbein and His School, Winter Exhibition, Eleventh Year, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy, with William Clowes and Sons, 1880), p. 27, no. 129.

Exhibition of Venetian Art, exh. cat. (London: The New Gallery, 1894), p. 5, no. 20.

Berenson, Bernard. North Italian Painters of the Renaissance (New York and London: Putnam's, 1907), p. 178.

Waterhouse, Ellis Kirkham. Notebooks. Vol. 58 (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute), accession no. 870204, p. 221 (Dec. 10, 1970) (as Moroni).

"Recent Accessions of American and Canadian Museums, April-June 1971." The Art Quarterly 34, no. 4 (1971), p. 498, 503, ill.

Ballarin, Alessandro. "Un ritratto inedito del Bassano." Arte Veneta 25 (1971), pp. 268-71, fig. 371.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Catalogue of the Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972), p. 33.

Rearick, W .R. "The Portraits of Jacopo Bassano." Artibus et historiae 1, no. 1 (1980), p. 109, fig. 9.

Pallucchini, Rodolpho. Bassano (Bologna: Capitol, 1982), p. 32, no. 22, ill.

Shearman, John. The Early Italian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 25, under no. 18.

Brown, Beverly Louise, and Paolo Marini. Jacopo Bassano, c. 1510-1592, exh cat. (Bassano del Grappa: Museo Civico, with Nuova Alfa Editoriale, 1992), pp. 64-66, no. 25, ill.

Brown, Beverly Louise, and Paolo Marini. Jacopo Bassano c. 1510-1592 (Fort Worth: Kimbell Art Museum, 1993), pp. 310-312, no. 25, ill.

Rearick, W. R. "The Life and Works of Jacopo dal Ponte, called Bassano, c. 1510-1592." Jacopo Bassano, c. 1510-1592, exh cat. Beverly Louise Brown and Paolo Marini, eds. Fort Worth: Kimbell Art Museum, 1993), pp. 84, 150-1.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 6, ill.

Christie's, London. Old Masters & 19th Century Art. July 7, 2009, p. 50, under lot 19.