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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Portrait of Bartolomeo Sirigatti

Photo: Elizabeth Mann

Portrait of Bartolomeo Sirigatti

signed and dated 1567

Francesco Traballesi

Italian, 1544 - 1588

Posed before a studiolo cabinet filled with books, a handsome young gentleman displays a letter addressed to his distant father, written so distinctly that its text can still be deciphered today. In a clever conceit, the letter documents the near-completion of the painting ("the painter is almost finished with my portrait and I like it very much") and the hope that his father will like it too.

Probably painted in Florence just five years before the Tintoretto portrait nearby, the painting has the eggshell hardness and disquieting sculptural energy of the Florentine style.

Mixed technique on panel
32 1/4 x 27 1/8in. (81.9 x 68.9cm)
Estate of Rosa Ayer
Provenance: [Sotheby's, London, Important Old Master Paintings, Apr. 21, 1982, lot no. 93]; purchased at auction by Nereo (1910-1999) and Helen (b. 1931) Fioratti (Martello Collection); to their gallery, [L' Antiquaire, New York, after 1985]; purchased from gallery by Mr. and Mrs. Ayer after 1985; bequest from Mrs. Ayer to Seattle Art Museum, 2009
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Published ReferencesBoskovits, Miklós, et al. The Martello Collection: Paintings, drawings and miniatures from the XIVth to the XVIIIth centuries. Florence, Italy: Centro Di, 1985; p. 140, no. 41, reproduced p. 141.

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