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.
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.
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.