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Antoon Van Dyck (Anversa, 1599 - Londra, 1641)
Oil on canvas, cm. 125 x 100
Genova, Musei di Strada Nuova - Palazzo Rosso, inv. PR 50
From 1874 in the collections by donation of Maria Brignole - Sale De Ferrari, Duchess of Galliera
The portrait of the jeweler Pucci with his son was purchased by Gio.Francesco II Brignole - It goes up in the period after Van Dyck’s stay in Genoa (1621-27)That is, when the fashion of owning his works was transient about whether the characters portrayed were related to the owners or not. The identity of the character is attested only by the inventories of the Brignole-Sale house, whose testimony is corroborated, at least as regards the activity of the effigy, by the jewelry represented on the right in the foreground. It is precisely his nature as a mercantile portrait that explains, on the one hand, the reference to iconographic typologies of a somewhat archaic taste, on the other, the icasticity of the jeweler’s gesture, which with the hand points to the spectator and the son the jewels, the source of his well-being, on display on the table: excessive and almost trivial gesture for a Magnificent, but natural for a jeweler. After an almost uninterrupted critical tradition attesting the autography vandyckiana, the restoration work conducted on the occasion of the exhibition "Van Dyck in Genoa. Great painting and collecting" (Genoa, 1997) reopened the discussion, supporting some critics attributing it to a minor Flemish painter, motivated by the weakness of workmanship and the defects of design and invention.