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Portrait of a man holding a glove

Sellari Girolamo called Girolamo da Carpi

(Ferrara 1501 - c. 1556)

This painting comes from Cavalier d'Arpino’s extensive collection, seized by Paul V's tax authorities in 1607. The work depicts a man attired in a rich garment which, with the ring and the display of the gloves, attests to the man's high social standing. The portrait, made in the wake of the Venetian painting experience, reveals the use of some revisited school of Ferrara features. Critics interpret it to be in the style of Girolamo Sellari, to whom the work was attributed.

Object details

metà del secolo XVI
oil on canvas
89 x 70 cm

Salvator Rosa, 104 x 84.3 x 12.5 cm


Rome, Collection of Giuseppe Cesari, called Cavalier d'Arpino, 1607 (Inv. Cavaliere d'Arpino, 1607, no. 72); Rome, Scipione Borghese Collection, 1607; Inventario Fidecommissario, 1833, p. 56; purchased by the Italian State, 1902.

Conservation and Diagnostic
  • 1952 Rocco Ventura; 
  • 1953 Jolanda Scalia Ventura (pulitura delle vecchie ridipinture sul vestito e fondo; ripresa del colore, verniciatura).


This painting was included in the seizure of the collection belonging to the painter Giuseppe Cesari, called Cavalier d’Arpino, accused in 1607 of illegal detention of firearms by the prosecutors of Pope Paul V. In fact, in that year’s inventory the work was thus described: “A painting without a frame of a Doctor holding a pair of gloves.” Always part of the collection, this portrait was mistakenly attributed to Giovanni Battista Moroni (1833) by the compiler of the fideicommissum listing, an ascription that was revised by Bernard Berenson (1907) in favour of Paolo Farinati, in turn discarded in 1928 by Roberto Longhi who saw in the work “a northern interpretation of Tiziano’s manner,” similar, according to the scholar, to that of Jan Stephan van Calcar.   

After a careful restoration that was concluded in 1953, Paola della Pergola (1955) recognised the hand of Girolamo da Carpi, to whom she attributed the painting with great confidence. This ascription was embraced by Amalia Mazzetti (1977) and by other critics. In fact, in the scholar’s opinion the canvas bears the Venetian traits absorbed by painters from Ferrara, and these, together with the iconography, the style, and the relationship between the image and the background, lead back to Sellari’s catalogue.  

Antonio Iommelli

  • F.M. Tassi, Vite de pittori, scultori e architetti bergamaschi, I, In Bergamo, Dalla Stamperia Locatelli, 1795, p. 168; 
  • J. Lermolieff, Kunstkritische Studien über Italienische Malerei. Die Galerien Borghese und Doria Pamphili in Rom, Leipzig 1890, p. 304; 
  • G. Piancastelli, Catalogo dei quadri della Galleria Borghese, in Archivio Galleria Borghese, 1891, p. 48; 
  • A. Venturi, Il Museo e la Galleria Borghese, Roma 1893, p. 81; 
  • B. Berenson, Florentine Painters, New York-London 1907, p. 215; 
  • R. Longhi, Precisioni nelle Gallerie Italiane, I, La R. Galleria Borghese, Roma 1928, p. 186; 
  • H. Merten, Giovanni Battista Moroni, Marburg 1928, p. 112; 
  • G. Lendorff, Giovanni Battista Moroni, Winterthur 1933, p. 86, n. 102; 
  • D. Cugini, Moroni Pittore, Bergamo 1939, p. 322; 
  • P. della Pergola, La Galleria Borghese. I Dipinti, I, Roma 1955, pp. 47-48, n. 73; 
  • A. Mezzetti, Girolamo da Ferrara detto da Carpi, Milano 1977, p. 99, n. 127; 
  • P. Moreno, C. Stefani, Galleria Borghese, Milano 2000, p. 246; 
  • K. Herrmann Fiore, Galleria Borghese Roma scopre un tesoro. Dalla pinacoteca ai depositi un museo che non ha più segreti, San Giuliano Milanese 2006, p. 36;
  • A. Pattanaro, Girolamo da Carpi, Milano 2021 (opera non presente).