Portrait of Gottardo Delfinoni e Rachele Barbetta Delfinoni

Emilio Magistretti1901

Ca’ Granda – Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico

Ca’ Granda – Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico
Milan, Italy

This portrait of the spouses Gottardo and Rachele Delfinoni arrives at the Ospedale Maggiore with the legacy of Ernestina Barbetta (1844-1932), Rachel's sister, Gottardo's sister-in-law and their heir. When Ernestina assigned her goods to Ca 'Granda, she expressed the wish that this "family" picture, which she had had done by Emilio Magistretti in 1901, when both of the relatives were dead, would be welcomed in the Quadreria Ospedaliera. Gottardo Delfinoni (1818 - 1889), belonging to a wealthy family of landowners, with a palace in Milan in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, lawyer, is for thirty years councilor of the Municipality of Milan; a fervent admirer of Giuseppe Garibaldi, to whom he funds the expedition of the Thousand with substantial sums, he receives as a gift from the "hero of the two worlds" the shirt and handkerchief he wore in the battle of Aspromonte; Garibaldi also wrote him two letters, one from La Spezia and one from Caprera, which are now kept at the Museo del Risorgimento in Milan. This portrait belongs to the artistic maturity of Magistretti, a pupil of Hayez, appreciated by the good middle class for his traditional and polite style, linked to the canons of nineteenth-century portraiture. The two spouses are depicted in an almost photographic pose, in a picture with a clear vertical trend, suggested by the bookcase and by the figure of Rachel standing, dressed in dark.


  • Title: Portrait of Gottardo Delfinoni e Rachele Barbetta Delfinoni
  • Creator: Emilio Magistretti
  • Creator Lifespan: 1851/1936
  • Date Created: 1901
  • Location Created: Milano
  • Physical Dimensions: h 201, w 119.5 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: oil
  • Art Genre: Portrait
  • Support: canvas
  • Inv.: Ritratti 000526

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