Tommaso Fiorentino (Tommaso di Stefano Lunetti) (Italian, Florentine, ca. 1495–1564)
Oil on wood
32 1/4 x 23 7/8 in. (81.9 x 60.6 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Not on view
This is the only signed work by Tommaso di Stefano Lunetti, who was the son of a miniaturist and a pupil of Lorenzo di Credi. Perhaps the most notable feature is the manner in which the silhouette of the figure is set off by the architectural background. Interestingly, according to the sixteenth-century biographer, Giorgio Vasari, Tommaso was also an architect.
Inscription: Signed and dated (left, on paper): ·[O]PVS THOME FLORETINI / ·A[NNO]·S[ALVTIS]: M·D·XXI·MAII· (The work of Tommaso of Florence / May in the prosperous year 1521)
Charles III, King of Spain, Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid (by 1772–d. 1788); his son, Charles IV, King of Spain, Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid (1788–after 1793); J. Pierpont Morgan, New York (until d. 1913; his estate, 1913–17)
Minneapolis. University Gallery, University of Minnesota. "Renaissance and Baroque Painting," June 25–July 26, 1952, no catalogue?
Poughkeepsie. Vassar College Art Gallery. "Humanism North and South," February 29–March 18, 1956, no. 6.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Florentine Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum," June 15–August 15, 1971, no catalogue.
Florence. Palazzo Pitti. "Domenico Puligo (1492–1527): un protagonista dimenticato della pittura fiorentina," September 28, 2002–January 5, 2003, no. 34 (as by Tommaso di Stefano Lunetti).
Antonio Ponz. Viaje de España. Ed. Casto Maria del Rivero. 1947 ed. Madrid, 1772, pp. 553–54, mentions it in the palace of Buen Retiro in Madrid.
Antonio Conca. Descrizione odeporica della Spagna. Vol. 1, Parma, 1793, p. 90.
D. Pietro Zani. Enciclopedia metodica critico-ragionata delle belle arti. part 1, vol. 9, Parma, 1822, pp. 44, 221 n. 71, mentions a painting by Tommaso Fiorentino bearing the same signature and date as ours, probably this portrait.
Luigi Lanzi. The History of Painting in Italy. rev. ed. London, 1852, vol. 1, p. 165 n.*, mentions it as belonging to the royal palace in Madrid, according to Conca [Ref. 1793].
Wolfgang Stechow. "Tommaso di Stefano." Pinacotheca 1 (November–December 1928), pp. 135–36, fig. 2, identifies the Tommaso Fiorentino who signed this portrait with Tommasi di Stefano discussed in Vasari; relates the portrait stylistically to an altarpiece of the Nativity (Cassa di Risparmio e Depositi, Prato) that Vasari says Tommaso di Stefano made for Marco del Moro's villa d'Arcetri; notes the influence of Pontormo in the portrait.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 66–67, ill., remarks on similarities between this portrait and the type painted by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, Franciabigio, and other painters in Florence about 1520; accepts that the artist could be the Tommaso Fiorentino mentioned by Lanzi [Ref. 1852] and Vasari's Tommaso di Stefano.
Millia Davenport. The Book of Costume. New York, 1948, vol. 2, p. 495, no. 1318, ill. (cropped).
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Florentine School. London, 1963, vol. 1, p. 208; vol. 2, pl. 1356, lists it as a work by Tommaso di Stefano Lunetti.
Federico Zeri. "La Mostra 'Arte in Valdelsa' a Certaldo." Bollettino d'arte, 4th ser., 48 (July–September 1963), p. 253, relates the smooth execution of this portrait to another painting attributed to Tommaso di Stefano, the Marcialla Nativity.
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. 195–96, ill., note the stylistic similarities with Pierfrancesco Foschi; suggest that the gesture of the sitter's left hand may indicate a companion piece, such as the sitter's wife.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 204, 521, 606.
Philippe Costamagna and Anne Fabre. "Un ritratto di Tommaso di Stefano agli Uffizi." Prospettiva 40 (January 1985), pp. 72–73, fig. 2, note that the picture is identifiable with a portrait described by Ponz [Ref. 1772] and Conca [Ref. 1793] in the royal palace of Buen Retiro, and attribute a portrait in the Uffizi to Tommaso.
Philippe Costamagna. Pontormo. Milan, 1994, p. 107 n. 2 under no. 5, p. 303 under no. A72, p. 317 under no. A103.
Fausta Navarro inDomenico Puligo (1492–1527): un protagonista dimenticato della pittura fiorentina. Ed. Elena Capretti and Serena Padovani. Exh. cat., Palazzo Pitti, Florence. [Livorno], 2002, p. 136–37, no. 34, ill. (color), states that this painting repesents the basis of our knowledge of the work of Tommaso di Stefano Lunetti; notes a particularly close stylistic relationship between this portrait and the work of painters of the "school of San Marco", such as Giovanni Antonio Sogliani, probably due to the frequent interactions between the two painters; also comments on the highly refined nature of the architectural background and the degree of "formal academicization" of the figure.