Portrait of a gentleman of the Spinola family

Ritratto di giovane di casa Spinola

Click here to view image

Back to Focus:
Author/ School/ Dating:

Antoon Van Dyck (Anversa, 1599 - Londra, 1641)

Technique and Dimensions:

Oil on canvas, cm. 241 x 170,5


Genova, Musei di Strada Nuova - Palazzo Rosso, inv. PR 115


From 1874 in the collections by donation of Maria Brignole - Sale De Ferrari, Duchess of Galliera

The work was purchased by Gio.Francesco II Brignole-Sale from the Lercari family in 1728 and, as can be deduced from the coat of arms on the plinth of the column, the effigy was a member of the Spinola family. This Portrait of a young man from Spinola’s house is one of the first portraits made by the painter in Genoa, and still marked is the influence of Rubens, his first important master in Antwerp: In this key it is also worth reading the choice to mark the background architectural fifth with a twisted column.  In recent times, authoritative scholars, precisely because of the presence of such a column, have even questioned the traditional attribution, in favor of that to Pieter Paul Rubens. The very recent cleaning, however, revealed a non-rubensian construction of the painting and compositional characters consistent with what was observed in the other Genoese vandyckian paintings, restored on the occasion of the exhibition of 1997 "Van Dyck in Genoa. Great painting and collecting".