Giuseppe Bertini - inv. 3507
Graphics and Books
Datable to about 1855, the drawing shows marchese Emilio Visconti Venosta (Milan 1829-Rome 1914) not yet thirty years old. At that time, he was one of the leading figures in pro-Savoy aristocratic circles in Milan and nourished patriotic aspirations shared by both Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli and the artist Bertini. After the Unification of Italy, he would play an important role in the nation's new institutions, holding the prestigious position of Foreign Affairs Minister from 1863.
The academic skills in this drawing, refined by Bertini during his training at the Brera Academy, lend themselves to a perceptive representation. The young man turns his gaze towards the spectator, self-assured and well aware of his noble and charming youthfulness. Light and sensitive in defining the face, the pencil lines become more decisive in rendering the fashionable hairstyle, the rapid knot of the tie, then thinning out obliquely to the slight hint of dark jacket, which contrasts with the white of the shirt. Almost the same age as his sitter, Bertini interprets his sure, elegant attitude in the free sophistication of this portrait on paper.
The work was donated to the Museum in 1973 by Margherita Visconti Venosta Pallavicino Mossi, widow of the marchese's son. On the same occasion, various other paintings were bequeathed to the Museum, formerly part of the collection formed by Emilio Visconti Venosta with the help of Giuseppe Bertini.