Michelangelo Merisi detto il Caravaggio
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(b. 1573, Caravaggio, d. 1610, Porto Ercole)

Portrait of Alof de Wignacourt
Oil on canvas, 118,5 x 95,5 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

Caravaggio's flight from Rome drove him first to Malta, where he quickly got to know the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta. The Grand Master playfully rests his left hand on his sword in its sheath, whilst in his right hand he is holding a rosary. The artist subtly dramatizes the contradiction between piety and brutality by the lighting and the fact that his subject is averting his eyes from the viewer.

Only very recently was this painting identified in the gallery's storeroom, and related to a reference in Bellori's book of 1672.

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Title: Portrait of Alof de Wignacourt
Time-line: 1551-1600
School: Italian
Form: painting
Type: portrait


| 24/04/2009