Portrait of a Bishop
47.4 cm x 41.9 cm (18 11/16 in. x 16 1/2 in.)
(Genoa, Italy, 1581 - 1644, Venice, Italy)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Known for his portraits, genre scenes, and religious works, Bernardo Strozzi was one of the most influential painters active in Genoa and Venice in the seventeenth century. The "Portrait of a Bishop" is among three likenesses of the same person by Strozzi. All three versions portray him with identical facial features, such as a moustache and goatee, also known as a Van Dyck beard, and similar expressions, including wrinkles in his forehead and slightly lifted brows. Two of the paintings, including the present work, depict the sitter wearing a doublet, or a man’s jacket, trimmed with a turned down white collar, which does not indicate the figure’s status as a clergyman. A much larger third portrait, however, represents the sitter standing near a mitre, a bishop’s headdress. During this period, artists commonly painted copies of the same portrait for prominent sitters and their families, which was a way to distribute the likeness of famous people.