Artist: Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian, Pieve di Cadore ca. 1485/90?–1576 Venice)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 46 1/2 x 37 in. (118.1 x 94 cm)
Credit Line: Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913
Accession Number: 14.40.650
The Milanese Filippo Archinto was a remarkable politician and cleric active in the mid-sixteenth century, supporting Saint Ignatius Loyola and attending the Council of Trent. He was painted by Titian when in Venice as papal nuncio between 1553 and 1556. Archinto was confirmed as Archbishop of Milan but local intrigue worthy of the stage kept him from his chair and he died in exile in neighboring Bergamo. Titian’s sober yet painterly portrait of Archinto shows him at the height of his power in the mid-1550s. A related version in the Philadelphia Museum of Art depicts the cleric covered with a white veil, an unusual addition that may refer to the trials of his later life. For more information about this painting and its sitter, including the two versions of his portrait, visit metmuseum.org.