This imposing portrait was commissioned by Elisabetta Cristina of Brunswick Wolfenbuttel, who passed through Lombardy, and especially Milan, in 1708, on her long voyage on her way to marry Charles III of Hapsburg in Barcelona, in 1709, thus becoming queen of Spain. This is the information given in the inscription (perhaps later) that makes an oval around the sitter (although it seems false or redone). The future queen was in fact a guest in the castle of Albani in Urgnano (near Bergamo) and gave this portrait of Giovanni Francesco Albani, a high official in the town of Bergamo, to the family as a gift.
Albani has been depicted wearing a showy white wig, which frames a face with a stern and rather melancholy gaze. His tail coat is lavishly decorated with gold braid, and the lace ruffles of his shirt cuffs emerge from its large sleeves. He is holding a cocked hat under his arm, in an artful pose much practised by Ghislandi.