Portrait of a Man

Francesco Salviati (Francesco de' Rossi) (Italian, Florence 1510–1563 Rome)

Oil on canvas
48 1/4 x 36 3/4 in. (122.6 x 93.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Nate B. Spingold, 1955
Accession Number:
  • Catalogue Entry


  • Provenance

    John Edward Taylor, London (until d. 1905); Mrs. John Edward Taylor, London (1905–12; her sale, Christie's, London, July 5 and 8, 1912, no. 28, for £3,750 to Colnaghi); [Colnaghi, London, from 1912]; [Knoedler, New York, until 1913]; J. Horace Harding, New York (1913–d. 1929; ?his estate, 1929–38); ?[James St. L. O'Toole Gallery, New York, 1938]; Thornton Realty Company, New York (from 1938); Mr. and Mrs. Nate B. Spingold, New York (by 1945–55)

  • Exhibition History

    New York. M. Knoedler & Co.. "Loan Exhibition of Old Masters for the Benefit of the Bellevue Hospital Convalescent Relief Committee," November 29–December 11, 1920, no. 15 (as "Portrait of a Gentleman," by Salviati, lent by Mr. J. Horace Harding).

    London. Knoedler. "Masterpieces through Four Centuries (1400–1800)," May 29–June 29, 1935, no. 25 (as "Portrait of a Gentleman," by Salviati, lent from the collection of the late J. Horace Harding, Esq.).

    Indianapolis. John Herron Art Institute. "Pontormo to Greco, The Age of Mannerism: A Loan Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings of the Century 1520–1620," February 14–March 28, 1954, no. 18 (as "Portrait of a Gentleman," by Francesco Salviati, lent by Mr. and Mrs. N. B. Spingold).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Nate and Frances Spingold Collection," March 23–June 19, 1960, unnumbered cat.

    Art Gallery, University of Notre Dame. "The Age of Vasari," February 22–March 31, 1970, no. P14 (as "Portrait of a Gentleman" by Salviati).

    University Art Gallery, State University of New York at Binghamton. "The Age of Vasari," April 12–May 10, 1970, no. P14 (as "Portrait of a Gentleman," by Salviati).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Florentine Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum," June 15–August 15, 1971, no catalogue.

    Athens. National Gallery Alexandros Soutzos Museum. "El Greco in Italy and Italian Art," September 17–December 31, 1995, no. 34 (as "Portrait of a Gentleman," by Salviati).

  • References

    The Collection of the late J. Horace Harding. New York, [1938?], p. 10, ill. opp. p. 10, as by Salviati.

    "A Salviati in a Portrait Exhibition." Connoisseur 105 (February–March 1940), p. 76, ill. p. 77, discusses it as shown in the opening exhibition at James St. L. O'Toole's gallery; suggests that the sitter's dress and beard indicate a probable Mantuan origin, and that the work may represent a member of the Gonzaga family.

    Iris Hofmeister Cheney. "Francesco Salviati (1510–1563)." PhD diss., New York University, 1963, vol. 2, p. 489, notes that the attribution to Salviati is based in part on the woven hanging in the background of the portrait, which superficially resembles the background in Salviati's portrait of a boy in the Galleria Colonna, Rome, and one attributed to Salviati in the National Gallery, London; suggests that it could be by a North Italian artist.

    Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Florentine School. New York, 1971, pp. 205–7, ill., date it about 1540; observe that the sitter's costume and beard were fashionable in Mantua during this period, and propose that Salviati may have executed the portrait while he was there in 1541; suggest that Salviati originated the curtain and border ornament, which appear in the portrait of Cosimo de' Medici I (MMA, 08.262) from Bronzino's workshop.

    Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 180, 525, 609.

    A. V. B. Norman. Letter to Stuart Pyhrr. January 4, 1979, passes on a report from the Department of History of Dress at the Courtauld Institute of Art that dates the Salviati portrait about 1548–53 based on comparison with Veronese's portrait of Francesco Franceschini dated 1551 (formerly in the Sarasota Museum).

    Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 257, 260, fig. 464.

    Robert Barry Simon. "Bronzino's Portraits of Cosimo I de' Medici." PhD diss., Columbia University, 1982, p. 91 n. 1, p. 262, under no. A21, finds attribution to Salviati unconvincing; thinks the portrait is Florentine, but of a later date, possibly after 1560; suggests that the curtain motif was derived from, rather than the inspiration for, the curtain in the background of the portrait of Cosimo de' Medici I (MMA, 08.232) from Bronzino's workshop.

    Fritz Heinemann. Letter to Katharine Baetjer. January 12, 1983, attributes it to Antonio Campi of Cremona, dating from his time in Spain, 1583–84; relates the portrait's texture and handling of flesh tones to Campi's altarpiece of Saint Roch in a landscape (Sotheby's, London, July 9, 1975, no. 34).

    Robert B. Simon. "Bronzino's Portrait of Cosimo I in Armour." Burlington Magazine 125 (September 1983), p. 531 n. 17.

    Colnaghi in America: A Survey to Commemorate the First Decade of Colnaghi New York. New York, 1992, p. 131.

    Luisa Mortari. Francesco Salviati. Rome, 1992, p. 148, no. 120, fig. 120, notes that the stylistic characteristics do not correspond to those in Florentine portraiture; suggests instead that it was painted in Salviati's Roman years, after 1548.

    Angela Tamvaki in El Greco in Italy and Italian Art. Exh. cat., National Gallery Alexandros Soutzos Museum. Athens, 1995, pp. 262–69, 487–91, no. 34, ill., black and white and color (overall and detail), accepts the attribution to Salviati; thinks that prior doubts about his authorship are founded in Vasari's vague discussion of Salviati's portraiture production.

    Philippe Costamagna in Francesco Salviati (1510–1563) ou la Bella Maniera. Exh. cat., Villa Médicis, Rome. Milan, 1998, p. 50, fig. 8, dates this painting between 1543 and 1548, when Salviati was in Florence and was influenced by Bronzino's portraits.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History