Pope Clement VII

Object Details


Pope Clement VII


Sebastiano del Piombo (Italian, about 1485 - 1547)




Italy (Place created)


about 1531


Oil on slate


105.4 x 87.6 cm (41 1/2 x 34 1/2 in.)

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Following the model that Raphael had established for papal portraits, Sebastiano del Piombo painted Pope Clement VII (Giulio de'Medici) in three-quarter length and seated in an armchair which is placed diagonally to the picture plane.

In a letter dated July 22, 1531, Sebastiano told Michelangelo that Pope Clement had visited his studio to see a new portrait of himself painted on canvas. Very pleased, the pope ordered another version for his collection, this one to be painted on stone. Sebastiano had begun painting on stone around 1530 and had come to favor it for some important commissions because stone lasted longer than canvas or wood. Pope Clement apparently shared Sebastiano's desire to immortalize his portrait by using this durable support.

about 1531 -

Pope Clement VII, Italian, 1478 - 1534 (Rome, Italy), probably commissioned from the artist, 1531.

by 1851

Robert Henry Herbert, Twelfth Earl of Pembroke, Ninth Earl of Montgomery, English, 1791 - 1862 (Wilton House, Wiltshire, England) [Pembroke sale, Christie's, London, May 6, 1851, lot 181, unsold.]

- 1861

Philip Lytcott Hinds, about 1792 - between 1871 and 1881 [sold, Christie's, London, June 1, 1861, lot 69, to Tayleure.]


John Tayleure, about 1782 - 1861

- 1987

Private Collection [sold, Sotheby's, Chester, June 11 1987, lot 4182, to Philip Parker.]


Philip Parker [sold, Christie's, London, December 11, 1987, lot 163, to Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd.]

1987 - 1992

Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1992.

Related Media
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    Audio: Portrait of Pope Clement VII