Francesco Apollodoro called Porcia Friulano - inv. 253

Francesco Apollodoro called Porcia Friulano (1531-1612)

Portrait of Ercole Bazzani
90 x 110 cm
signature and date
1881 acquisition 
Inv. 253

Antique Staircase
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This painting was bought by Giuseppe Bertini in 1881, the year the Museum opened, and was restored by Luigi Cavenaghi a short while afterwards.
The inscription on the back says that the canvas portrays the prelate of Vignola, Ercole Bazzani, and the note at the top right of the painting states that he was forty-one years old. Ercole Bazzani, with his hand on a codex, was probably one of the jurists of the university of Padua.
We know little about the life and career of the artist, Francesco Apollodoro.  He was originally from Friuli, and joined the corporation of Paduan painters in 1606. This canvas is one of the rare surviving examples of his work as portrait painter.
The sitter's rather foreshortened pose gives the figure a natural movement; skilfully lit and detailed, the face reveals the jurist's character. The black of the dress gives the man an almost sculptural carachter and is emphasised by the contrast with the white collar, the pale face and hands.