Domenico Robusti called Domenico Tintoretto (attributed to) - inv. 4743

Attributed to Domenico Robusti called Domenico Tintoretto (1560-1635)

Portrait of a Man
1598-1599 c.
oil on canvas  
113 x 92 cm
2001 donation Innocente Contini Bonacossi
Inv. 4743

Palma Room
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This remarkable portrait shows an elegant young gentleman who is wearing a sober black velvet suit, with puffed breeches, a doublet richly embroidered in gold, and a white shirt with ruff collar. His right hand rests on a marble bust which stands on a table next to a gold snuffbox, while his left holds a handkerchief. Behind him, a window opens onto a green hilly landscape.
The meticulous and analytic paintwork and the elements in the background – defined by short luminous strokes – bring to mind Domenico Tintoretto, an excellent portrait painter like his father Jacopo. Indeed, both in technique and in composition, the work strikingly resembles a beautiful Portrait of a Lady in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, recently identified as Portrait of Margherita Gonzaga, widow of the duke of Ferrara Alfonso II d’Este and sister of the duke of Mantua Vincenzo Gonzaga, which Domenico Tintoretto had painted during a stay in Mantua in 1598–1599. It is therefore possible that our portrait was painted by Domenico Tintoretto in the same period as the Boston painting, during his stay at the end of the century in the courts of Ferrara and Mantua, and that it might consequently portray an important person (or keen collector?) at the Este or Gonzaga courts.