Portrait of a Man with a Sheet of Music (Front)

Domenico Fetti

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Facing the viewer, a bearded man in theatrical clothing poses in front of a loosely painted, classicizing backdrop. He holds a sheet of music in his left hand and with his right hand points at an overturned bowl in the foreground, a vanitas symbol that refers to the emptiness of material possessions. Intense eyes set in an expressive face watch the viewer while he gestures. In the lower right-hand corner, two young men, perhaps admirers, watch with interest.

The bearded man may have been a singer or actor shown in a role from a play; his informality also suggests that he may have been a friend of the artist, Domenico Fetti.


  • Title: Portrait of a Man with a Sheet of Music (Front)
  • Creator: Domenico Fetti
  • Date Created: about 1620
  • Physical Dimensions: 173.7 × 130.5 cm (68 3/8 × 51 3/8 in.)
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 93.PA.17
  • Culture: Italian
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Domenico Fetti (Italian, about 1589 - 1623)
  • Classification: Paintings (Visual Works)

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