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A portrait of a man dressed in armor fills the center of this tondo. Depicted in three-quarter view, his face is deeply lined, a sign of aging and experiences lived. He is identified by an inscription as Napoleone Orsini II, Lord of Bracciano and standard-bearer of the Catholic Church. The border is embellished with floral motifs, military trophies, the papal regalia of the crossed keys and papal crown, and the sitter's personal motto In hostes.

The portrait relates to a set of engravings that illustrates a manuscript entitled Elogii di cento e più personaggi illustri di casa Orsina (Archivio Storico Capitolano, Rome). Recounting the history of the Orsini family up to ca. 1460–70, the text and the accompanying prints were created by a little-known artist of German origin called Giovanni Campagna. It has been suggested that the Getty drawing was made as a presentation sheet to secure a patron's support which would have allowed Campagna to bring the manuscript current.

The drawing has a fascinating provenance. Along with sixteen other portraits of members of the Orsini family, it once belonged the seventeenth-century patron and scholar Cassiano dal Pozzo's Paper Museum. Cassiano's collection, which consisted of over 7,000 drawings and prints, functioned as a visual encyclopedia by bringing together a breadth of knowledge.

Details

  • Title: Portrait of Napoleone Orsini II
  • Creator: Giovanni Campagna
  • Date Created: about 1619
  • Physical Dimensions: 17.1 × 17.8 cm (6 3/4 × 7 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Pen and black ink, gray wash and white heightening, on green prepared paper
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 93.GA.64
  • Culture: German ?
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Gift of Spencer A. Samuels in memory of Mitchell Samuels
  • Creator Display Name: Giovanni Campagna (German ?, active about 1616 - 1633)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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