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ID number:  BIRBI-45.3
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Signorelli, Luca (1441?-1523)
Title / Object name:  Portrait of Niccolò Vitelli
Object type:  Painting
Place made:  Citta di Castello, central Italy
Culture:  Italian
Date made:  1493/6
Materials:  Oil on wood
Measurements:  44.2 x 33 cm
Provenance:  Sir Francis Cook; by descent to Herbert Cook; purchased from Messrs. T. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., in 1945 for £3,600.

Niccolò Vitelli (1414 - 1486) was a ruthless mercenary commander who established his family as rulers of Città di Castello. This portrait was painted after his death. It was probably commissioned by his sons as a memorial, and it originally hung with their portraits.

The profile portrait was used on coins and medals and it therefore held associations of power and of memory. In this case, the format also made it easier for Signorelli to depict a sitter who was deceased.

Inscriptions / Translations:  Inscribed: N.V.

Notes:  Exhibited: 'Mostra di Luca Signorelli', Palazzo Pretorio, Cortona, 1953, no. 19; 'Signorelli in British Collections', National Gallery, London , 1998, no. 11.

1 Related People

Signorelli, Luca

1 Related Publications

Signorelli in British collections

National Gallery, London
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