Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Rodolfo Gonzaga (1451–1495)

Artist:
Style of Andrea Mantegna (Italian, Mantuan, ca. 1490–95)
Medium:
Tempera on wood
Dimensions:
4 1/4 x 3 1/4 in. (10.8 x 8.3 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
The Jules Bache Collection, 1949
Accession Number:
49.7.11
Not on view
Bellesi (until 1920; sold to Duveen); [Duveen, Paris and New York, 1920–27, as a member of the Giovanni Francesco Gonzaga family, by Mantegna; sold to Kleinberger]; [Kleinberger, New York, 1927; sold for $22,000 to Bache]; Jules S. Bache, New York (1927–d. 1944; his estate, 1944–49; cats., 1929, unnumbered; 1937, no. 12; 1943, no. 11)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Bache Collection," June 16–September 30, 1943, no. 11 (as "Gianfrancesco II de Gonzaga," by Mantegna).

Bernard Berenson. Letter. March 23, 1927, attributes it to Mantegna and identifies it as a member of the Gonzaga family, possibly Rodolfo Gonzaga.

A Catalogue of Paintings in the Collection of Jules S. Bache. New York, 1929, unpaginated, ill., attributes it to Mantegna, dates it about 1488, and identifies the sitter as Gianfrancesco II de Gonzaga; states that it comes from "a private family in Italy".

Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 328, lists it as "Miniature Portrait," by Mantegna.

Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 291.

A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. under revision. New York, 1937, unpaginated, no. 12, ill.

Giuseppe Fiocco. Mantegna. Milan, [1937], p. 203, pl. 65, questions both the attribution to Mantegna and the identification of the sitter as Gianfrancesco II.

A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. rev. ed. New York, 1943, unpaginated, no. 11, ill.

E. Tietze-Conrat. Mantegna: Paintings, Drawings, Engravings. London, 1955, pp. 191–92, fig. 62, agrees with Fiocco [see Ref. 1937] that both the attribution to Mantegna and the identification of the sitter as Gianfrancesco II are incorrect; proposes attributing it to a Venetian copyist such as Michiel Contarini; identifies the sitter as Rodolfo Gonzaga based on comparison with the portrait formerly in the Ambras collection [see Notes], suggesting that both the Ambras and MMA works may be copies after a lost original by Mantegna of about 1475.

Renata Cipriani. All the Paintings of Mantegna. New York, 1963, vol. 2, p. 103, pl. 181, lists it with paintings attributed to Mantegna as "Portrait of Francesco Gonzaga (?)".

Niny Garavaglia in L'opera completa del Mantegna. Milan, 1967, p. 108, no. 53, ill. [English ed., "The Complete Paintings of Mantegna," New York, (1970/71), p. 108, no. 53, ill.], as "Ritratto d'uomo (Rodolfo Gonzaga?)," usually not accepted as autograph.

Ronald Lightbown. Mantegna. Oxford, 1986, p. 474, no. 154, pl. 183, lists it with paintings after Mantegna; accepts the identification of the sitter as Rodolfo Gonzaga; believes that the prototype by Mantegna may date from the late 1460s or the 1470s.

Giovanni Agosti in Francesco di Giorgio e il Rinascimento a Siena, 1450–1500. Ed. Luciano Bellosi. Exh. cat., chiesa di Sant'Agostino, Siena. Milan, 1993, pp. 490, 504 n. 25, reports that Andrea De Marchi has suggested that it could be by the Sienese painter Matteo di Giovanni.

Andrea De Marchi. "Matteo di Giovanni ai suoi esordi e il polittico di San Giovanni in Val d'Afra." Matteo di Giovanni e la pala d'altare nel senese e nell'aretino, 1450–1500. Ed. Davide Gasparotto and Serena Magnani. Montepulciano, 2002, pp. 68, 75 n. 82, fig. 26.



A very similar portrait, inscribed with Rodolfo's name and formerly in the Schloss Ambras, Vienna (now Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), is discussed by Friedrich Kenner in "Die Porträtsammlung des Erzherzogs Ferdinand von Tirol," Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses 17 (1895), pp. 225–26, no. 105, ill.
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