Portrait of a Venetian Nobleman

Attributed to Vittore Carpaccio (Italian, 1455-1526)
Oil on panel 
14 x 10-3/4 in. (35.6 x 27.3 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
Not on View

Although damaged and suffering losses (especially in the hair and collar), this depiction of a formidable sitter is an example of the Venetian adaptation of Flemish portraiture that came to be the norm in Italy by the last quarter of the fifteenth century. The sitter, posed in three-quarters profile, turns his head to meet the viewer’s eyes. He is placed before a distant landscape with towers, animated figures, and a bright sky in conspicuous contrast with his dark hair and hat; all of these serve to accentuate his distinguished presence.

In the nineteenth century, this panel was variously attributed to two other Venetian artists: Giovanni Bellini and one of his students, Rocco Marconi. Portraits by Carpaccio are fairly rare, which—along with the painting’s abraded condition—may bring this attribution into question.


Sir W. Forbes, London, before 1868.
Rt. Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P., London (sale, London, Christie’s, 23-26 June 1875, lot 667).
William Graham (1817-1885), London (sale, London, Christie’s, 10 April 1886, lot 449, as Bellini, to);
John P. Carrington, London, by 1901.
?[Martin Colnaghi, London].
[R. Langton Douglas, London, sold 22 August 1916 to];
[Knoedler Galleries, London, stock no. 6109, as Rocco Marconi, A Venetian Nobleman, shipped to];
[Knoedler Galleries, New York, stock no. 13930, as Rocco Marconi, Portrait of a Venetian Nobleman, sold 14 March 1921 to];
Mortimer L. Schiff, New York, by inheritance to;
John Mortimer Schiff, New York (sale, London, Christie’s, 24 June 1938, lot 75, as Giovanni Bellini, to);
[Duveen Bros., New York, stock no. 30101, sold 1965 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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