The J. Paul Getty Museum

Portrait of a Halberdier (Francesco Guardi?)

Object Details


Portrait of a Halberdier (Francesco Guardi?)


Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci) (Italian (Florentine), 1494 - 1557)


Italian (Florentine)


Italy (Place Created)




Oil (or oil and tempera) on panel transferred to canvas

Object Number:



95.3 × 73 cm (37 1/2 × 28 3/4 in.)

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Object Description

Standing before a fortress wall, this well-dressed foot soldier holds a combination spear and battle-axe called a halberd. His direct stare and swaggering pose are strikingly poignant, given the smooth unlined face and slim body that betray him as no more than a teenager. As a portraitist, Jacopo Pontormo was renowned for his subtle, complex psychological studies; here he conveyed the naive arrogance and vulnerability of youth. Court painter to Duke Cosimo de' Medici (1519 – 1574) in Florence, Pontormo pioneered a new, sophisticated type of portraiture which championed elegance and aristocratic reserve.

The sitter's identity has been much discussed. The painter and author of the famous Lives, Giorgio Vasari (1511 – 1574), noted that during the siege of Florence in about 1529, Pontormo painted a "most beautiful work, "a portrait of young nobleman Francesco Guardi as a soldier.” Sure enough, a birth record survives for a male child, Francesco, who was born into the Guardi clan in 1514. This young man would have been around fourteen or fifteen years old at the time of the siege, about the age of Pontormo's teenage sitter. Based on the evidence of a Florentine inventory of the Riccardi family in 1612, it has also been suggested by some that the portrait represents Cosimo de' Medici himself.


- 1612

Riccardo Romolo Riccardi (Florence, Italy), by inheritance through the Riccardi family, 1612.
Source: Recorded in 1612 [posthumous?] inventory.

1612 -

Riccardi Family (Florence, Italy)

1807 - 1810

Jean-Baptiste Pierre Lebrun, French, 1748 - 1813 (Paris, France) [sold, Lebrun sale, Lebrun, Paris, March 20, 1810, lot 108, through Simon to Joseph Fesch.]
Note: as Gianfrancesco Penni

1810 - 1839

Cardinal Joseph Fesch, 1763 - 1839 (Paris, France; Rome, Italy), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.
Source: 1839 and 1841 inventories as Bronzino. Catalogue des tableaux composant la galerie de feu son Eminence le Cardinal Fesch (Rome: Imprimerie de Joseph Salviucci et Fils, 1841), p. 34, no. 682.
Note: as Andrea del Sarto

1839 - 1845

Estate of Cardinal Joseph Fesch, 1763 - 1839 [Fesch sale, George, Rome, March 17, 1845, lot 754, to Warneck.]

1845 - possibly 1845

Warneck, possibly agent for Leroy d'Etiolles, possibly 1845.
Source: Auction catalogue.

possibly 1845 - 1860

Leroy d'Etiolles, 1798 - 1860, upon his death, held in trust by the estate.
Note: as Gianfrancesco Penni, il Fattore

1860 - 1861

Estate of Leroy d'Etiolles, 1798 - 1860 [sold, Leroy d'Etiolles sale, Hôtel Drouot (Escribe, commisaire-priseur), Paris, February 21, 1861, lot 39, to Gros.]

1861 - possibly 1861

Gros, possibly as agent for Mathilde Bonaparte, possibly 1861.
Source: Procés verbal (Arch. Paris D42E341).

possibly 1861 - 1904

Mathilde Bonaparte, Princesse Française, 1820 - 1904 (Paris, France) [sold, Mathilde sale, Chevallier, Paris, May 17, 1904, lot 53, to Eugène Kraemer.]
Note: as Alessandro Allori, il Bronzino

1904 -

Eugène Kraemer (Paris, France)

by 1914 - 1918

James Stillman, 1850 - 1918 (New York, New York), by inheritance to Charles Chauncey Stillman, 1918.

1918 - 1926

Charles Chauncey Stillman, 1877 - 1926 (New York, New York), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1926 - 1927

Estate of Charles Chauncey Stillman, 1877 - 1926 [sold, Stillman sale, American Art Association, New York, February 3, 1927, lot 35, to Walpole Galleries.]


Walpole Galleries (New York, New York), sold to Chauncey Devereaux Stillman, 1927.

1927 - 1989

Chauncey Devereaux Stillman, 1907 - 1989 (New York, New York) [sold, Christie's, New York, May 31, 1989, lot 72, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

A Century of Progress (1933) (June 1 to November 1, 1933)
  • The Art Institute of Chicago
43 Portraits (January 26 to February 10, 1937)
  • Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford), January 26 to February 10, 1937
Masterpieces of Art (European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300-1800) (May to October, 1939)
  • New York World's Fair (Queens), May to October 1939
Pontormo to Greco: The Age of Mannerism (February 14 to March 28, 1954)
  • Herron Museum of Art (Indianapolis), February 14 to March 28, 1954
Mostra del Pontormo e del primo manierismo fiorentino (March 24 to July 15, 1956)
  • Palazzo Strozzi (Florence), 1956
The Human Figure in Italian Art 1520-1580 (May 1 to May 25, 1962)
  • Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University (Cambridge), May 1 to May 25, 1962
The Italian Heritage (May 17 to August 29, 1967)
  • Wildenstein & Co. (New York), May 17 to August 29, 1967
L'Officina della `Maniera': Varietà e Fierezza Nell'arte Fiorentino / Mannerism in Florentine Art (September 28, 1996 to January 6, 1997)
  • Gallerie degli Uffizi (Florence), September 28, 1996 to January 6, 1997
Pontormo: Miraculous Encounters (May 8, 2018 to April 28, 2019)
  • Gallerie degli Uffizi (Florence), May 8 to July 29, 2018
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 5 to April 28, 2019
The Renaissance Nude (October 30, 2018 to June 2, 2019)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 30, 2018 to January 27, 2019
Portraits, Power and Identity: Florence under Cosimo I de' Medici (June 21 to October 11, 2021)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), June 21 to October 11, 2021

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Cox-Rearick, Janet. The Drawings of Pontormo. 2 vols. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964), vol. 1, pp. 241, 269-71, 276-77, 281, 402, 404; vol. 2, fig. 278.

Shearman, John K. G. Andrea del Sarto. 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1965), vol. 1, p. 90n1.

Tempesti, Anna Forlani. Pontormo I Maestri del colore 94 (Milan: Fratelli Fabbri Editori, 1965), unpaginated.

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Berti, Luciano. Pontormo (Florence: Edizioni d'arte il Fiorino, 1966), pp. 134-36, ill.

Berti, Luciano. "Precisazione sul Pontormo." Bollettino d'arte 51 (1966), pp. 53, 56-57, no. 27.

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Harpring, Patricia. "The Language of Images: Enhancing Access to Images by Applying Metadata Schemas and Structured Vocabularies." In Introduction to Art Image Access: Issues, Tools, Standards, Strategies. Murtha Baca, ed. (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2002), p. 27, fig. 14.

Southgate, M. Therese. "The Cover." JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association 290, no. 2 (July 9, 2003), p. 161, cover ill.

Costamagna, Philippe. "Portraits of Florentine Exiles." In Raphael, Cellini and a Renaissance Banker: The Patronage of Bindo Altoviti. Alan Chong et al., eds. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2003), pp. 329-50, fig. 164, ill.

Allen, Denise, et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, with Thames & Hudson, 2003), p. 27, no. 11, ill., entry by David Jaffé.

Pinelli, Antonio. La bellezza impura: Arte e politica nell'Italia del Rinascimento (Rome: Gius. Laterza & Figli Spa, 2004), pp. 123-55, ill.

Strehlke, Carl Brandon, et al., eds. Pontormo, Bronzino, and the Medici: The Transformation of the Renaissance Portrait in Florence, exh. cat. (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, with Pennsylvania State University Press, 2004), pp. 48, 92-93, ill.

Gaertringen, Rudolf Hiller von. Italienische Gemälde im Städel 1300-1550. Vol. 1, Toskana und Umbrien (Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 2004), p. 484.

Cricco, Giorgio, and Francesco Paolo di Teodoro. Itinerario nell'arte. Vol. 2, Da Giotto all'età barocca (Bologna: Zanichelli, 2004), p. 871, ill.

Bailey, Martin, ed. The Folio Society Book of the 100 Greatest Portraits (London: Folio Society, 2004), pp. 64-65, ill., entry by David Ekserdjian.

Arfaioli, Maurizio. The Black Bands of Giovanni: Infantry and Diplomacy during the Italian Wars (Pisa: Edizioni Plus-Pisa University Press, 2005), pp. 55-56, fig. 13.

Franklin, David, ed. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and the Renaissance in Florence, exh. cat. (Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, with Yale University Press, 2005), p. 234, fig. 81.1, entry by Elizabeth Cropper.

Cox-Rearick, Janet. "Pontormo and Bronzino." Burlington Magazine 147, no. 1224 (March 2005), p. 212.

Costamagna, Philippe. "Nouvelles considerations sur un 'Portrait d'homme' de Pontormo." Paragone 56, no. 59 (January 2005), p. 66, fig. 61.

Holian, Heather L. Sale. "Bronzino, Castiglione, and A Self-Portrait: Re-evaluating Bronzino's Trip to Pesaro." In Renaissance Papers 2005. Christopher Cobb and M. Thomas Hester, eds. (Rochester: Camden House, 2005), p. 12, fig. 3.

Soussloff, Catherine M. The Subject in Art: Portraiture and the Birth of the Modern (London: Duke University Press, 2006), pp. 28-29, pl. 4.

Rosenberg, Pierre. Only in America: One Hundred Paintings in American Museums Unmatched in European Collections. Susan Wise, trans. (Milan: Skira, 2006), pp. 58-59, ill.

Zuffi, Stefano. European Art of the Sixteenth Century. Antony Shugaar, trans. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006), p. 333, ill.

Mendelsohn, Leatrice. "Bronzino in Pesaro and After: The Impact of Raphael and Raphaelism on Bronzino's Florentine Manner." In The Translation of Raphael's Roman Style. Henk Th. van Veen, ed. (Leuven: Peeters, 2007), pp. 97-104, fig. 15.

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Russell, Francis. "A Portrait of a Young Man in Black by Pontormo." Burlington Magazine 150, no. 1267 (October 2008), pp. 676-77, fig. 26.

Campbell, Lorne, et al., eds. Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian, exh. cat. (London: National Gallery, with Yale University Press, 2008), p. 224, under no. 69, fig. 82, entry by Carol Plazzotta.

Sotheby's, London. The Barbara Piasecka Johnson Collection. July 8, 2009, pp. 38, 40, fig. 2, under no. 15.

Cropper, Elizabeth. "Reading Bronzino's Florentine Portraits." In Bronzino: Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici, exh. cat. Carlo Falciani and Antonio Natali, eds. (Florence: Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, with Mandragora, 2010), pp. 250, 252-53, fig. 96.

Simons, Patricia. The Sex of Men in Premodern Europe: A Cultural History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 101, 103, fig. 17.

Baker, Nicholas Scott. The Fruit of Liberty: Political Culture in the Florentine Renaissance, 1480-1550 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013), pp. 118-22, fig. 3.1.

Adams, Laurie. Italian Renaissance Art. 2nd ed. (2001; repr., Boulder: Westview Press, 2014), pp. 407-8, figs. 18-19.

Brooks, Julian, with Denis Allen and Xavier F. Salomon. Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), p. 53, under no. 8.

Fredericksen, Burton B. The Burdens of Wealth: Paul Getty and His Museum (Bloomington: Archway Publishing, 2015), pp. 204-5, 298.

Hindlip, Charles. An Auctioneer's Lot: Triumphs and Disasters at Christie's (London: Third Millenium Publishing, 2016), pp. 52-53, 172, ill.

Unia, Flavio. Pontormo: Il genio scontento, i maestri e il tempo (Zanica: Soldiershop Publishing, 2016), pp. 92-94, no. 50, ill., cover ill.

Salvadori, Silvano. Il Mio Pontormo: Pensieri e rivisitazioni critiche (Florence: Ibiskos Editrice Risolo, 2016), pp. 60-62, ill.

Baker, Nicholas Scott. "'Uno avulso non decifit alter': Florence and the Medici, 1512-1574." In Maniera: Pontormo, Bronzino and Medici Florence, exh. cat. Bastian Eclercy, ed. (Frankfurt: Städel Museum, with Prestel, 2016), pp. 27-28, fig. 5.

Currie, Elizabeth. Fashion and Masculinity in Renaissance Florence (London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), p. 138, fig. 7.5.

Jones, Jonah. An Introduction to Pontormo: “A Great But Neglected Painter and Draftsman of the First Part of the 16th Century” (Florence: Mauro Pagliai, 2017), pp. 148-52, pl. 8.

Allan, Scott, Davide Gasparotto, Peter Björn Kerber, and Anne T. Woollett. Masterpieces of Painting: J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2018), pp. 7, 47, ill.

Kren, Thomas, et al., eds. The Renaissance Nude, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2018), pp. 332-34, no. 99b, ill, entry by Stephen J. Campbell.

Edelstein, Bruce, and Davide Gasparotto, eds. Miraculous Encounters: Pontormo from Drawing to Painting, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2018), pp. 8, 12, 86-89, 92, 94, 118-21, no. 6, ill., entry by Davide Gasparotto; pp. 122, 124, under no. 7; p. 129, under no. 8; p. 133, under no. 9; p. 138, under no. 11.

Edelstein, Bruce. "Miraculous Encounters: Pontormo from Drawing to Painting." In Miraculous Encounters: Pontormo From Drawing to Painting, exh. cat. Bruce Edelstein and Davide Gasparotto, eds.(Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2018), pp. 19, 35-40, 43-48, 49n15, 51-58n, 60-61n.

Falciani, Carlo. “Power and Identity in Sixteenth-Century Florentine Portraiture.” In The Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512 – 1570, exh. cat. Keith Christiansen and Carlo Falciani, eds. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Yale University Press, 2021), p. 23.

Christiansen, Keith, and Carlo Falciani, eds. The Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512 – 1570, exh. cat. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Yale University Press, 2021), pp. 23, 80, 83, 88, under no. 2; p. 90, under no. 3; p. 92, under no. 5; p. 96, under no. 7; pp. 98-100, no. 8, entry by Keith Christiansen; p. 103, under no. 9; p. 179, under no. 41; p. 182, under no. 43.