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

Portrait of Fra Pietro di Filippo Guadagni dell’Opera (1544-1592), three-quarter-length, in armour, with the cross of the Order of Saint John (the Knights of Malta), his right hand resting on a cavalry helmet, the other resting on the hilt of a sword, at a window, with shipping beyond

Details
Attributed to Domenico Robusti, called Domenico Tintoretto (Venice 1560-1635)
Portrait of Fra Pietro di Filippo Guadagni dell’Opera (1544-1592), three-quarter-length, in armour, with the cross of the Order of Saint John (the Knights of Malta), his right hand resting on a cavalry helmet, the other resting on the hilt of a sword, at a window, with shipping beyond
with the old inscription ‘F. PIERO DI FILIPPO GVAD. COMEND: / DI TORTONA / 1592 / Tintoretto Vechio’ (on the reverse of the unlined canvas), and with the old inventory number ‘24’ (twice, on the reverse)
oil on canvas, unlined
52 1/8 x 40¾ in. (132.5 x 103.3 cm.)
with identifying inscription and date ‘FRA PIERO DI FILIPPO GVADAGNI / COMMENDATORE DI TORTONA / 1592.’ (lower centre, on the frame)
Provenance
By descent to the Marchesi Guadagni, and at the Palazzo Guadagni, Piazza Santo Spirito, Florence, by 1841, and by descent to the present owner.
Literature
[P. Thouar], Notizie e Guida di Firenze, e de’suoi contorni, Florence, 1841, p. 423, as in the ‘Casa Guadagni, Piazza di S. Spirito, Prima Stanza’, as one of two portraits by Jacopo Tintoretto.

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Carlijn Dammers

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Lot Essay

We are grateful to Professor Bernard Aikema for suggesting the attribution to Domenico Tintoretto, on the basis of photographs. An alternative attribution to Jacopo Tintoretto has been suggested by Lionello Puppi. A portrait of the sitter’s brother, Giovanni Battista Guadagni (private collection, Milan), has been attributed to Jacopo Tintoretto in the past (C. Bernari and P. de Vecchi, L’opera completa del Tintoretto, Milan, 1970, no. F42, pp. 138 and 140).

Grandson of Ulivieri di Simone, Pietro di Filippo Guadagni pursued a military career by enrolling in the French army as a young man, where he distinguished himself in combat against the Spanish. Hearing of the Ottoman threat posed to Malta, seat of the Knights of Saint John, Pietro sought acceptance to the Order in 1564, becoming a Knight just in time to help defend the island from the famous siege laid to it in 1565 by Suleiman the Magnificent. Twice made prisoner by the Turks, he would eventually become General Collector of the Order of the Knights of Malta in Tuscany, Lieutenant of the Grand Priory of Pisa and Governor of Fort Sant’Elmo on the island. The Palazzo Guadagni in Malta, which Pietro began, remained unfinished at his death, but would be completed by his brother, Alessandro, and serve as a residence to future knights of the Guadagni house (see L. Passerini, Genealogia e Storia della Famiglia Guadagni, Florence, 1873, pp. 139-141).

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