DescriptionBARTOLOMÉ ESTEBAN MURILLO (Spanish 1618 - 1682)
Portrait of a Nobleman
Oil on canvas
78-1/2 x 50in.
Inscribed and dated (in the coat-of-arms), AÑO. 1677. ETAT.S. 34
Bears the painted coat-of-arms of the Ostigliani family (at upper left)
Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris, 1894;
William T. Donnat, Paris;
Thus acquired by Knoedler, Paris, 1921;
Thus acquired by the Counts Contini-Bonacossi, Florence;
Paris, Charles Sedelmeyer Gallery, 1894, cat. no. 66;
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, on loan, 1906-1908;
Paris, René Gimpel Gallery, Exhibition of Antique Spanish Art, 1925, cat. no. 72;
Toronto, Art Gallery, 1929;
Rome, National Gallery of Modern Art, May-June 1930
Sedelmeyer Gallery, Catalogue of the First Series of 100 paintings of Old Masters, Paris, 1894, pp. 78-79, cat. no. 66;
R. Longhi and A.L. Mayer, eds., The Old Spanish Masters from the Contini-Bonacossi Collection, Rome, 1930, p. 31, cat. no. 48, fig. 41;
A.L. Mayer, "Zur Austellung der Spanischen Gemälde des Grafen Contini in Rome," Pantheon, V, 1930, p. 204;
D. Angulo Iñiguez, Murillo, Madrid, 1981, vol. II, p. 583, no. 2.857
The coat-of-arms in the upper left corner of this portrait indicates that it was painted in 1677 and identifies the nobleman as a member of the Italian Ostigliani family of Treviso. It is likely that the nobleman depicted in the portrait was from one of the many foreign families living in Seville during the second half of the seventeenth century and working in the banking industry.
Angulo Iñiguez (op. cit.) knew this painting only from photographs and dismissed it as an autograph work by Murillo largely due to a misreading of the date on the coat-of-arms (1645) and his opinion that the nobleman appeared to be Italian. However, a correct reading of the coat-of-arms and a close comparison of the present portrait with Murillo's other works of this period make it possible to confirm the painting's traditional attribution.
The present portrait is closely comparable to a small group of full-length portraits by Murillo dated to the same decade: the Portrait of Don Diego Felix de Esquivel y Aldama (Denver Museum of Art), the Knight of Alcántara and Don Andrés de Andrade (both Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), and the Portrait of a Man with a Hat (Cintas Foundation, Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, Florida).
Estimate: $125,000 - $175,000.
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