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    Sale 5857

    Old Master & British Pictures

    23 April 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 79

    Follower of Alonso Sánchez Coello

    Portrait of a North Italian Ducal figure, erroneously identified as Emperor Ferdinand II of Austria, Holy Roman Emperor (1578-1637), three-quarter-length, with plumed close helmet and cuirass for the foot tournament, etched and gilt on blued and white ground, with the baton of a military commander, and a swept-hilt rapier

    Price Realised  

    Follower of Alonso Sánchez Coello
    Portrait of a North Italian Ducal figure, erroneously identified as Emperor Ferdinand II of Austria, Holy Roman Emperor (1578-1637), three-quarter-length, with plumed close helmet and cuirass for the foot tournament, etched and gilt on blued and white ground, with the baton of a military commander, and a swept-hilt rapier
    oil on canvas
    54 x 45¼ in. (137.2 x 114.9 cm.)


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    The armour and attitude of the sitter in the present portrait would suggest a date of around 1575-85. The close helmet, breast-plate and back-plates (from an armour for the foot tournament) depicted here are very similar, if not the same as, those preserved in the Royal Armoury, Turin, attributed to a central Italian workshop, c. 1580. The heraldic eagle, displayed with wings inverted, on the brow of the visor, and displayed with wings outstretched, below the neck on the breast-plate and at the sides, would be key in establishing the sitter's identity. The sitter's monogram 'VF', with palm fronds impaling an Italian ducal coronet, are also incorporated twice within a band of the etched and gilt decoration above an eagle on the sitter's breast-plate, and on the visor.

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