List of Artworks

Research Notes: Part 1, no. 24, Folio 4 recto

Carlo Maratti, Portrait of Luca Mellini (ca. 1663)
Fig. I, 24, a
Carlo Maratti (Italian, 1625–1713)
Title: Portrait of Luca Mellini, Portrait of a Young Man
Date: ca. 1663
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 63 x 52 cm (24 7/8 x 20 1/2 in.)
Current location: Berlin, Gemäldegalerie
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons | PD-US

Jorge Fernández-Santos Ortiz-Iribas hypothesizes that this is the painting to which Mellini is referring in part 1, no. 24, Folio 4 recto. (fig. I, 24, a).1 He recognizes that it is impossible to make a conclusive identification, since the measurements and particularly the date that appears on the back of the canvas do not coincide with the description provided in the 1680 inventory. If the date on the back of the picture (1666) is correct, Luca Mellini would have been a child at the time, as he was born around the mid-1650s. Clearly, the sitter in this portrait is an adult.

Given the lifelike quality of this portrait, we may surmise that it was directly commissioned from Carlo Maratti by the Mellini family. Several portraits are recorded as belonging to the family in the inventories of Mario Mellini III, but the descriptions are too generic to enable us to identify this portrait among them.2

Carlo Maratti, Portrait of a Gentleman Fig. 1, 24, b
Carlo Maratti (Italian, 1625–1713)
Portrait of a Gentleman
n. d.
Oil on canvas
Dimensions unknown
Location unknown
National Gallery of Art Library
Image courtesy Department of Image Collections, Foto Reali Archive, National Gallery of Art Library, Washington, D.C.

A black-and-white photograph can be found in the department of images of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., of a portrait by Carlo Maratti, the current location of which is unknown. This portrait also depicts a much more mature sitter than Luca Mellini would have been at that time (fig. I, 24, b).


  • 1. Jorge Fernández-Santos Ortiz-Iribas, “The Inventory of Pietro Mellini’s Collection at the Palazzo del Rosario in 1680,” Burlington Magazine 150, no. 1265 (August 2008): 512–20.
  • 2. Archivio Serlupi Crescenzi, Rome, Inventario dei mobili di Mon Mario Mellini, vol. 84, 1738; Archivio Serlupi Crescenzi, Rome, “Nota de quadri esistenti nelle camere di Mario Millini,” 1732, in Scritture diverse della Casa Mellini dal 1522 al 1743, vol. 17, fols. 407–26.


Ortiz-Iribas, Jorge Fernández-Santos. “The Inventory of Pietro Mellini’s Collection at the Palazzo del Rosario in 1680.” Burlington Magazine 150, no. 1265 (August 2008): 512–20.