This previously unknown work constitutes a notable addition to Crespi's repertoire of portraits. Professor Andrea Emiliani, to whom we are grateful for confirming the attribution, considers the portrait 'un vero capolavoro del suo genre forte'.
On stylistic grounds, the present picture may be dated to relatively early in the artist's career. It is similar in facture to Crespi's earliest known self-portrait, datable to 1700-1715, in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg (see M.P. Merriman, Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Milan, 1980, p. 285, no. 180), and the same gesture of the hand recurs in another work of circa 1700, the Portrait of a Musician (ibid., p. 293, no. 205). The striking frontal pose of the sitter recalls the Portrait of a Cardinal, which Merriman considers a later work datable to circa 1720 (ibid., p. 292, no. 200).
The identity of the sitter is yet to be established.