Portrait of a Knight of Malta, Probably Fra Jacopo Salviati

Attributed to Mirabello Cavalori Italian

Not on view

As the cross on his garment indicates, this portrait depicts a Knight of Malta, a member of an ancient and prestigious Catholic military order. The sitter is almost certainly the Florentine Fra Jacopo Salviati (b. 1537), who was the nephew and heir to the Grand Prior of Rome, one of the Order’s highest officers. It was painted in 1566, the year following the Great Siege of Malta, when Ottoman troops attempted to conquer the island and the Knights who ruled it, but were repulsed. The artist is probably the talented Mirabello Cavalori, one of a generation of Florentine artists who sought to infuse a greater naturalness into the formal conventions of portraiture of the time.

The splendid frame is of the period and possibly original to the picture.

Portrait of a Knight of Malta, Probably Fra Jacopo Salviati, Attributed to Mirabello Cavalori (Italian, Salincorno 1535–1572 Florence), Oil on canvas

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