Bust of a Nobleman in Armor

View enlargement
Zoom image
Email to a friend
Print this page

Pietro Tacca (Attributed to)
Italian, 1577-1640

Bust of a Nobleman in Armor, 1610/20

63.5 x 59.7 x 23.5 cm (25 x 23 1/2 x 9 1/4 in.)
Height with socle: 81.3 cm (32 in.)
Tillie C. Cohn Endowment, 1964.1100

This portrait bust of an unknown nobleman in armor, sporting the stiff ruff characteristic of men’s fashion in Europe in the first quarter of the 17th century, was once thought to portray the Genoese aristocrat Ambrogio Spinola or an anonymous naval officer. Previously attributed to the French Mannerist sculptor Germain Pilon (1535–1590), it currently bears an attribution to Pietro Tacca, court sculptor to the Medici grand dukes in the first half of the 17th century. However, the immediacy and supplely rendered flesh of this portrait suggest that it was executed by an artist associated with Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680), the most famous Italian sculptor of the period.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Art Institute of Chicago, "European Portraits, 1600–1900, in the Art Institute of Chicago," 8 July – 11 September 1978, no. 36.

Publication History

Art Institute of Chicago, "Acquisitions, July 1, 1964 – June 30, 1965," Art Institute of Chicago Annual Report 1964-65, p. 29.

Art Institute of Chicago, "Man in Armor," Calendar of the Art Institute of Chicago 60, 3 (May 1966), p. 77 (ill.).

Ownership History

Mrs. F. Gray Griswold (died 1940), New York, by 1940; sold, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 15 February 1941, no. 16, to Joseph Brummer, New York [Brummer Index Card N6783 in The Cloisters Library and Archives, New York]; sold, Parke-Bernet Galleries, 8 June 1949, Part III of the Art Collection belonging to the Estate of the late Joseph Brummer, no. 410. Collection of Baron Cassel van Doorn (died 1952) and Baronness Cassel van Doorn, by 1952; sold, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 9 April 1954, no. 86bis. Blumka Gallery, New York, by 1964; sold by Blumka Gallery to the Art Institute, 1964.