Doge Pasquale Cicogna

Oil Painting
late 16th century (painted)
Doge Pasquale Cicogna thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Oil on canvas
Brief Description
Oil on canvas, 'Doge Pasquale Cicogna', Venetian School, 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
Dimensions
  • Estimate height: 138.5cm
  • Estimate width: 106.7cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Miss Margaret Coutts Trotter
Object history
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
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.
Production
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).
Subjects depicted
Summary
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.
Bibliographic Reference
Kauffmann, C.M. Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, pp. 291-292, cat. no. 363.
Collection
Accession Number
1449-1882

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record createdMay 4, 2006
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