Notable Sales

Jacopo Robusti, called Tintoretto

(1519 - Venice - 1594))

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Jacopo Robusti, called Tintoretto

Portrait of a Scholar

Oil on canvas, 112 x 90 cm (44 x 35 in)

A very exciting rediscovery of a hidden masterpiece by Tintoretto, painted in 1547/8 which was formerly in the extensive collection of the painter, Sir Peter Lely. This early portrait depicts a scholastic bearded young man in his 30s, wearing a long coat trimmed with fur and seated at a desk on a Savonarola faldstool while holding in his hands a large book, the erudite nature of which is conveyed by numerous marginalia.  Tintoretto’s hand is unmistakable in the execution of this painting which is of the highest quality with jewel-like textural brushwork and an innovative handling of light, which beautifully renders the sitter’s face and head which are meticulously defined, capturing his lively gaze, his youthful complexion, smooth dark brown hair which softens into locks, and the different shades of his long beard. A specially commissioned catalogue has been published for the occasion, which takes us back through the long and fascinating provenance of the work as well as discussing the painting in detail, including details revealed by X-ray of two other paintings which lie underneath our portrait which tantalisingly also reveal much about Tintoretto’s early style.


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