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


172.7 x 129.9 cm (68 x 51 1/8 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)

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) (5.5)
  • 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
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