Portrait of a Man

Object Details


Portrait of a Man


Francesco Salviati (Italian, 1510 - 1563)




about 1544 - 1548


Oil on panel


108.9 x 86.4 cm (42 7/8 x 34 in.)

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This elegantly attired sitter's identity is a mystery, but, in light of the painting's Florentine provenance, he was almost certainly a Florentine gentleman of high standing. He looks out toward the viewer and holds a letter, perhaps a note of introduction, in his left hand. His formal pose is reminiscent of antique statues, and a sense of movement is implied by the way his body twists to the left while his head turns to the right.

Salviati effectively captured the different tactile qualities of the various fabrics: the green curtains have a velvety richness, and the gentleman's black silk vest is distinguished from its dark velvet trim and purple slashed silk sleeves. Individual strands of hair can be detected in the man's meticulously painted beard, mustache, and hair. The affected gesture, confident posture, and strident colors of this portrait are characteristic of mid-sixteenth century Mannerism.

by 1904 -

Marchese Carlo Niccolini di Camugliano (Florence, Italy)

by about 1950/1955 - still in 1979

Heim Gallery (London) (London, England)

- 1982

Colnaghi (London, England; New York, New York)

1982 - 1986

Daniel Varsano (Connecticut), sold through Zangrilli, Brady & Co., Ltd. (New York, New York) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986.

Mostra del cinquecento toscano (April to October, 1940) (Cat. 15)
  • Palazzo Strozzi, (Florence), April to October, 1940
Discoveries from the Cinquecento (June 17 to November 6, 1982) (Cat. 9 / 7)
  • P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., Ltd., London, June 17 to August 7, 1982
  • P & D Colnaghi & Co. Ltd. (New York), October 6 to November 6, 1982
  • P & D Colnaghi & Co. Ltd. (New York), October 6 to November 6, 1982

"Acquisitions/1986." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 15 (1987), p. 184, no. 48, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), unpaginated, no. 9, ill.

Hall, Nicholas H. J., ed. Colnaghi in America: A Survey to Commemorate the First Decade of Colnaghi New York (New York: Colnaghi, 1992), pp. 46-47, 130, ill.

Carr, Dawson W., and Mark Leonard. Looking at Paintings: A Guide to Technical Terms (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, with British Museum Press, 1992), pp. 52-53, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995), unpaginated, no. 10, ill., entry by Burton B. Fredericksen.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 115, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 104, ill.