Artibus et Historiae no. 10 (V)

1984, ISSN 0391-9064

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CECIL GOULD - Raphael's Double Portrait in the Louvre: An Identification for the Second Figure

The figure on the left has long been recognized as Raphael himself. The second man was called variously Pontormo and Pordenone as early as the 17th century and has recently been claimed to be Raphael's friend, Giovanni Battista Branconio dell'Aquila. But the present writer opposes this on the ground that Branconio was Raphael's junior by ten years.

Instead he proposes the young Pietro Aretino on the strength of resemblance to Marcantonio's print of him in the 1520's (the famous Titian portraits date from the 1540's by which time Aretino was much changed). In 1517-1520 Aretino was living with Raphael's patron, Agostino Chigi. It is now suggested that the portrait was a present to Chigi, to whom, as recipient, the second figure in the portrait is pointing.

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