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Oil painting - Doge Pasquale Cicogna
  • Doge Pasquale Cicogna
    Tintoretto, Jacopo, born 1519 - died 1594
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Doge Pasquale Cicogna

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Venice (probably, painted)

  • Date:

    late 16th century (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Tintoretto, Jacopo, born 1519 - died 1594 (painted by)
    Palma, Jacopo Il Giovane (painted by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Margaret Coutts Trotter

  • Museum number:

    1449-1882

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The sitter in this portrait is identified by the traditional corno ducale hat and robes of state of the Doge or chief magistrate and leader of La Serenissima or the 'Most Serene Republic of Venice'. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy. The identification of the sitter with Doge Pasquale Cicogna is supported by the presence of a stork in the pattern of his cloak (see right shoulder). A stork, or cicogna in Italian, was Doge Pasquale's personal emblem, visible for example on the coat of arms included in a portrait engraving by Jacopo Tintoretto (Bartsch XVI.105.1). The sitter can also be identified through comparison with Palma Giovane's paintings on canvas ca. 1568-87 in the Oratory of the Ospedaletto dei Crociferi, Venice, of the major events in the Doge's life.1449-1882 appears to have been painted by an artist familiar with the works of Jacopo Tintoretto (1519-1594) and his son Domenico (1560-1635) as well as Palma Giovane (ca, 1548-1628) and may be a direct contemporary copy of an unidentified portrait of the Doge by one of these Venetian artists all working on the terra firma in the late 16th century.

Physical description

Three quarter length portrait of Doge Pasquale Cicogna seated and wearing his robes of office and a ring facing left, a red velvet curtain behind him

Place of Origin

Venice (probably, painted)

Date

late 16th century (painted)

Artist/maker

Tintoretto, Jacopo, born 1519 - died 1594 (painted by)
Palma, Jacopo Il Giovane (painted by)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

Height: 138.5 cm estimate, Width: 106.7 cm estimate, :

Object history note

Given by Miss Margaret Coutts Trotter, 1882.

Historical significance: The sitter in this portrait is identified by the traditional corno ducale hat and robes of state of the Doge or chief magistrate and leader of La Serenissima or the 'Most Serene Republic of Venice'. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy. Sir Karl Parker's tentative identification of the sitter with Doge Pasquale Cicogna in 1961 is supported by the presence of a stork in the pattern of his cloak (see right shoulder). A stork, or cicogna in Italian, was Doge Pasquale's personal emblem, visible for example on the coat of arms included in a portrait engraving by Jacopo Tintoretto (Bartsch XVI.105.1). The sitter can also be identified through comparison with Palma Giovane's paintings on canvas ca. 1568-87 in the Oratory of the Ospedaletto dei Crociferi, Venice, of the major events in the Doge's life.
1449-1882 appears to have been painted by an artist familiar with the works of Jacopo Tintoretto (1519-1594) and his son Domenico (1560-1635) as well as Palma Giovane (ca, 1548-1628) and may be a direct contemporary copy of an unidentified portrait of the Doge by one of these Venetian artists all working on the terra firma in the late 16th century.

Historical context note

In his encyclopaedic work, Historia Naturalis, the ancient Roman author Pliny the Elder described the origins of painting in the outlining of a man’s projected shadow in profile. In the ancient period, profile portraits were found primarily in imperial coins. With the rediscovery and the increasing interest in the Antique during the early Renaissance, artists and craftsmen looked back to this ancient tradition and created medals with profile portraits on the obverse and personal device on the reverse in order to commemorate and celebrate the sitter. Over time these profile portraits were also depicted on panel and canvas and progressively evolved towards three-quarter and eventually frontal portraits. These portraits differ in many ways from the notion of portraiture commonly held today as they especially aimed to represent an idealised image of the sitter and reflect therefore a different conception of identity. The sitter’s likeness was more or less recognisable but his particular status and familiar role were represented in his garments and attributes referring to his character. The 16th century especially developed the ideal of metaphorical and visual attributed elaborating highly complex portrait paintings in many formats including at the end of the century full-length portraiture. Along with other devices specific to the Italian Renaissance such as birth trays (deschi da parto), wedding chest decorated panels (cassoni or forzieri), portrait paintings participated to the emphasis on the individual.

Descriptive line

Oil on canvas, 'Doge Pasquale Cicogna', Venetian School, late 16th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M. Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, pp. 291-292, cat. no. 363.

Production Note

Previously catalogued as 'A Venetian Doge'
A tentative identification of Pasquale Cicogna, who was doge 1585-95, was suggested by Sir Karl Parker (written communication, 1961).

Materials

Oil; Canvas

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Robes; Portraits; Magistrate; Doges

Categories

Paintings; Portraits

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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