Overview

Giovanni della Casa, who is in all likelihood the subject of this portrait, belonged to a wealthy Tuscan family and rose to prominence in the service of the church. As poet, humanist, and political theorist, he circulated at the highest levels of Italian intellectual life. Della Casa also wrote a book on manners, and in this portrait of the early 1540s displays the sober self-possession espoused in that work. When Pontormo painted this image, della Casa was in his early thirties and acting in Florence as Apostolic Commissioner of taxes. Pontormo shows the monsignor in a dim interior, and although the architectural details are few, they suggest that the building is Santa Maria del Fiore, the cathedral of Florence.

Pontormo's mannerist style was a brilliantly expressive synthesis of fantasy and acute observation of nature. Here the balance is tilted in favor of visible reality, but a reality intensified by plausible exaggerations. For example, the monsignor's small head is made to look even smaller by the huge conical bulk of his caped torso looming so close to the picture plane and brushing the sides of the frame.

Inscription

Marks and Labels

null

Provenance

Marchese Bargagli [family of the sitter], Florence. (Trotti et Cie., Paris, by 1909, as by Sebastiano del Piombo);[1] on joint account 1912-1922 with (M. Knoedler & Co., London, New York, and Paris); (Trotti et Cie., Paris) from 1922. (Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi, Florence and Rome). (D'Atri, Paris and Rome). (Pinakos, Inc., New York) on joint account with (M. Knoedler & Co., London, New York and Paris); by whom sold 6 February 1952 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation as Sebastiano del Piombo, New York; [2] gift 1961 to NGA.

Exhibition History

1909
Tableaux anciens de l'école italienne, Galerie Trotti, Paris, 1909, no. 12.
1956
Mostra del Pontormo e del Primo Manierismo Fiorentino, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, 1956, no. 76, pl. LXI (no. 84, pl. LXXVII in second edition of the catalogue).
2002
Magnificenza! The Medici, Michelangelo, and the Art of Late Renaissance Florence (in Italy, L'ombra del genio: Michelangelo e l'arte Firenze, 1537-1631), Palazzo Strozzi, Florence; Art Inst. of Chicago; Detroit Inst. of Arts, 2002-2003, no. 32.
2004
Pontormo, Bronzino, and the Medici: The Transformation of the Renaissance Portrait in Florence, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2004-2005, no. 45, repro., as Giovanni della Casa.

Bibliography

1942
Dussler, Luitpold. Sebastiano del Piombo. Basel, 1942, no. 77, as by Sebastiano del Piombo.
1946
Suida, William E. "Titian's Portraits, Originals and Reconstructions." Gazette des Beaux-Arts (March 1946): 144, repro. 149.
1956
Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Colllection Acquired by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation 1951-56. Introduction by John Walker, text by William E. Suida and Fern Rusk Shapley. National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1956: 142, no. 55, repro.
1959
Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959: 109, repro.
1963
Sinibaldi, Giulia. "Un disegno del Pontormo." Paragone XIV, no. 165 (Sept 1963):41-42, repro.
1964
Forster, Kurt. W. "Probleme um Pontormos Porträtmalerei (I)," Pantheon XXII, no. VI (Nov/Dec 1964):380+
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 104
1966
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds. A Pageant of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. New York, 1966: 1:136, color repro.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 92, repro.
1973
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Italian Schools, XVI-XVIII Century. London, 1973: 11-12, fig. 17.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 272, repro.
1979
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. 2 vols. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1979: I:377-379, II:pl. 273
1982
Cox-Rearick, Janet. "Bronzino's Young Woman with Her Little Boy." Studies in the History of Art 12 (1982): 70-71, repro.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 187, no. 211, color repro.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 317, repro.
1992
National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 99, repro.
1997
Arasse, Daniel and Andreas Tönnesmann. La Renaissance maniériste, 1997, p. 460, no. 294, repro.
2004
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 99, no. 75, color repro.

Technical Summary

null

Related Works

Related Resources

  • Event Type
    Event Name
    March 1–June 1
    Mon, Tues, and Wed at 1:00
    March 5, 2012 at 2:00
    March 7, 2012 at 4:00
    East Building, Auditorium
    Name of docent
    image:
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum
    60 minutes
    Registration for this event begins on April 1, 2012 at noon.
    Download the program notes (100k)
  • Self-Guided Tour
    Italian Collection
    image:
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum