- Gallery Text
Cardinal Alessandrino (1541–1598) participated in the conclave of 1585, which elected Pope Sixtus V. The pope then gave Alessandrino enormous authority by naming him his vicar general in Rome and of the entire Church. Despite his high rank, Alessandrino continued to wear his white and black Dominican habit. The cardinal is portrayed in a straightforward fashion, sitting on a chair and making eye contact with the viewer. His sober vestments contrast with the rich fittings of the plush velvet chair and the elegant satin curtain to his right. This cloth, theatrically pulled back and casting a dark shadow, humorously reveals that this is a painted image: a picture within a picture. Canvases were often covered with protective cloths. Pulzone has put the beholder in the position of being present when the portrait is revealed for the first time.
- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
Scipione Pulzone, called Il Gaetano, Italian (Gaëta, Italy 1544 - 1598 Rome, Italy)
- Michele Bonelli, called "Cardinal Alessandrino"
- Other Titles
- Title: Michele Cardinal Bonelli (1541-1598), called "Cardinal Alessandrino"
- Work Type
- Creation Place: Europe, Italy, Lazio
- Persistent Link
Level 2, Room 2540, European Art, 13th–16th century, The Renaissance
View this object's location on our interactive map
- Physical Descriptions
- Oil on canvas
- 136.5 x 105.2 cm (53 3/4 x 41 7/16 in.)
framed: 156.5 x 125 x 11 cm (61 5/8 x 49 3/16 x 4 5/16 in.)
- Possibly in Barberini Collection (Rome). Sciarra Collection (Rome, until 1880s?). C. Fairfax Murray (London, until 1905), sold; to Edward Edward Waldo Forbes, gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1905.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Edward W. Forbes
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- European and American Art
- The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
- Publication History
Highlights from the Collections of the Fogg Museum and Harvard Alumni of St. Louis, exh. cat., City Art Museum of St. Louis (St. Louis, 1964), cat. 61
Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, 1967)
Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings from the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY, 1967), cat. 53
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1972), p. 171
Sydney J. Freedberg, "Lorenzo Lotto to Nicolas Poussin", Apollo (May 1978), vol. 107, no. 195, pp. 389-397, p. 393, repr. p. 393 as fig. 9
Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), no. 179, p. 157, repr.
Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), pp. 125, 340, repr. b/w cat. no. 707
Robert B. Simon, From Sacred to Sensual: Italian Paintings, 1400-1750, exh. cat., Berry-Hill Galleries, Inc. (New York, NY, January 1998), p. 58
Alexandra Dern, Scipione Pulzone (ca. 1546-1598), Verlag Und Datenbank Für Geisteswissenschaften (Weimar, Germany, 2003), no. 44, pp. 149-150, repr. as abb. 58; pp. 28-29, 62, 103
Andrea Del Col and Anne Jacobson Schutte, ed., L'Inquisizione romana, i giudici e gli eretici, Viella (Rome, 2017), repr. as cover image
Yuri Primarosa, Ottavio Leoni (1578-1630): Eccelente miniator di ritratti. Catalogo ragionato dei disegni e dei dipinti, Ugo Bozzi Editore (Rome, 2017), pp. 67, 675, repr. p. 66 as fig. 39
- Exhibition History
Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings from the Fogg Art Museum, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, 05/08/1967 - 06/11/1967
Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 10/12/1967 - 12/03/1967
The Portrait, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/15/2004 - 01/09/2005
32Q: 2540 Renaissance, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050
- Subjects and Contexts
Google Art Project
- Related Works
This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at firstname.lastname@example.org