Portrait of Tommaso Inghirami (Raphael)


Portrait of Tommaso Inghirami (Raphael)

Infobox Painting|



title=Portrait of Tommaso Inghirami
artist=Raphael
year=1515-1516
type=Oil on wood
height=91
width=61
city=Florence
museum=Palazzo Pitti

The "Portrait of Tommaso Inghirami" is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael, c. 1515-1516.

This portrait shows the eminent man of letters and librarian of Pope Leo X, born in Volterra in 1470, with an absorbed expression, in the act of writing. It is assumed that Inghirami worked with Raphael on the program of the "Stanza della Segnatura". Inghirami became praefect of Vatican Library under Julius II. The portrait is an exceptional work for its fullness of vision and vibrant colours, without being excessively grandiose or dramatic.

There are two extant versions, one in Boston, the other in Palazzo Pitti. Each has been considered the original at one time or another, but the dispute is useless, since both are highly coherent and the differences between them are slight: the physical structure of the Cardinal is more massive in the Boston portrait and leaner in the Pitti one. It is accepted by some experts that both versions are the work of Raphael, the Boston version being the earlier 1512-1514.

The red of the Cardinal's clothing dominates both. Inghirami's crossed eyes, a physical defect which the artist does not leave out, acquire a discreet tone which almost dissolves in the inspired pose of the figure. Without idealizing, but also without falling into unpleasant naturalism, Raphael maintains a harmonic equilibrium between realism and dignified celebration, a primary characteristic of portrait painting.

The picture was part of the collection of Cardinal Leopoldo de Medici. It was stolen by the French in 1799 and brought back to its current seat in 1816.


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