Portrait of a Man with a Sheet of Music

Object Details


Portrait of a Man with a Sheet of Music


Domenico Fetti (Italian, about 1589 - 1623)




about 1620


Oil on canvas


173.7 × 130.5 cm (68 3/8 × 51 3/8 in.)

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Facing the viewer, a bearded man in theatrical clothing poses in front of a loosely painted, classicizing backdrop. He holds a sheet of music in his left hand and with his right hand points at an overturned bowl in the foreground, a vanitas symbol that refers to the emptiness of material possessions. Intense eyes set in an expressive face watch the viewer while he gestures. In the lower right-hand corner, two young men, perhaps admirers, watch with interest.

The bearded man may have been a singer or actor shown in a role from a play; his informality also suggests that he may have been a friend of the artist, Domenico Fetti.


Carlo De Mari (possibly Genoa, Italy)

by 1922

Ida Uzielli De Mari (Florence, Italy)
Source: Tarchiani, 1922.

before 1939

Private Collection (Lugano, Switzerland)

- 1993

M. Roy Fisher Fine Arts, Inc. (New York, New York), sold through Marco Grassi (New York, New York) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993.

Mostra della pittura italiana del Seicento e del Settecento (1922) (no. 960 (as attrib. to Bernardo Strozzi, Ritratto virile; Coll. N.D. Ida Uzielli De Mari, Florence))
  • Palazzo Pitti (Florence), 1922
Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture (August 5, 2008 to March 8, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), August 5 to October 26, 2008
  • National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), November 28, 2008 to March 8, 2009

Longhi, Roberto. "Note in margine al catalogo della Mostra sei-settecentesca del 1922." Opere complete di Roberto Longhi, vol. 1. (Scritti giovanili: 1912-1922).

Marangoni, Matteo. "Domenico Feti-II." Dedalo, 3. (1922 - 1923), p. 777, ill. p. 781.

Tarchiani, Nello, et al. Mostra della pittura italiana del Seicento e del Settecento: Catalogo. 1st ed., (Florence: 1922), no. 960 (as Bernardo Strozzi) 2nd ed. (Florence: 1922) p. 88, no. 413 (as Fetti, following suggestion of Roberto Longhi).

Ojetti, U., L. Dami and N. Tarchiani. La pittura italiana del Seicento e del Settecento alla mostra di Palazzo Pitti. (Milan and Rome: 1924), fig. 128.

Blunt, A. "Dipinti veneziani del XVII e del XVIII secolo nelle collezioni reali d'Inghilterra." Arte Veneta, 2. (1948), p. 128.

Michelini, P. "Domenico Fetti a Venezia." Arte Veneta. (1955), p. 134.

Donzelli, Carlo, and Giuseppe Maria Pilo. I Pittori del Seicento veneto. (Florence: 1967), p. 175.

Potterton, Homan. Venetian Seventeenth Century Painting, exh. cat. (National Gallery, London: 1979), p. 67, under no. 10.

Russell, Francis. The Treasure Houses of Great Britain: Five Hundred Years of Private Patronage and Art Collecting, exh. cat. (National Gallery of Art, Washington: 1985), p. 346, under no. 273.

Safarik, Eduard A. Fetti. (Milan: 1990), pp. 296-97.

Safarik, Eduard A. Domenico Fetti; 1588/89-1623. (Milan: 1996), p. 29, fig. 5, ill.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 42, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 105, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 103, ill.

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