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Portrait of a Prelate

tuscan school

The work, possibly attributable to the Tuscan school, depicts a male figure, identified by some scholars as a pope (perhaps Eugene IV, born Condulmer, 1431-1447) on account of his clothing and hat.

Object details

Mid-16th century
oil on panel
cm 23 x 19

Inv. fidecommissario Borghese 1833, p. 25. Purchased by the Italian State, 1902.

Conservation and Diagnostic
  • 1907, Luigi Bartolucci


Identifiable only in the fideicommissary inventory of 1833, this small portrait is, according to Paola Della Pergola (1955), part of a series of portraits of illustrious men by an unknown artist, first cited in the fideicommissary inventory of 1833 (see also inventories 448, 449 and 523).

Mentioned by Adolfo Venturi (1893) and Roberto Longhi (1928), the picture was tentatively placed by the two scholars in the more generic context of the Florentine School. Indeed, one can see the resemblance between this small panel and the portrait of Pope Eugene IV, born Gabriele Condulmer, painted by Cristoforo dell’Altissimo and held in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (inv. 2982 - 1890). The resemblance to the pontiff is supported by a comparison with the image, which was probably the primary source of the Florentine painting as well as this one. It is known through the engraving reproduction made by Onofrio Patavino from a painting by Jean Fouquet (reproduced here in the version preserved in Naples, in the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe, Collezione Firmian, Vol. 116, folio 10).

Lara Scanu

  • G. Piancastelli, Catalogo dei quadri della Galleria Borghese in Archivio Galleria Borghese, 1891, p. 447
  • A. Venturi, Il Museo e la Galleria Borghese, Roma 1893, p. 208
  • R. Longhi, Precisioni nelle gallerie italiane. Galleria Borghese, Roma 1928, p. 221
  • P. Della Pergola, La Galleria Borghese. I Dipinti, I, Roma 1955, p. 114, n. 261
  • K. Hermann Fiore, Roma scopre un tesoro. Dalla Pinacoteca ai depositi, un museo che non ha più segreti, Roma 2006, p. 145