Italian Florentine oil on board portrait of a gentleman, late 16th century; possibly Pietro di Cosimo de_ Medici, the son of Cosimo I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1519-1574). "Petrus Magni Cosmi R" painted in gold lettering above the sitter. Unsigned. En verso, "No. 57" written in script, lower edge of bracing, along with two red wax seals. The seal decorated with a ship possibly dates to the 17th century, while the other with the initials "JH" possibly dates to the 18th century. Cross bracing applied to back of the painted panel. Housed in a gilt wood frame. Sight – 25 1/2" H x 20" W. Framed – 30" H x 24 1/2" W. Late 16th century. Provenance: Blount County, TN Living Estate. Note – From the late 14th century to the 18th century, the Medici family was one the most prominent and wealthy families in Italy, with its members included among the ranks of eminent bankers, politicians, papacy, and European royalty. Their enduring legacy is evident by their patronage of early and High Renaissance artists and architects, including Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, and Vasari. Pietro de' Medici (1554-1604) was the youngest son of Cosimo I de' Medici, In 1571, he married his first cousin, Eleonora di Garzia di Toledo, whom he accused of adultery and is believed to have strangled (by some accounts, with a dog leash) in 1576. He spent considerable time in Spain, where he began to accumulate large gambling debts, and had a number of illegitimate children. In 1579, he brought Italian troops to Spain and led them on a mission to Portugal. An arranged marriage to the daughter of the Portuguese Duke of Vila Real did little to stabilize his finances; he eventually sought help from the Pope (unsuccessfully) in his efforts to use part of the family fortune to cover his debts. He died deeply in debt before the age of 50. Condition: Cradling verso. Dry painted surface with light grime, uneven varnish surface, scattered paint losses to forehead, left shoulder, right background near collar. Blacklight does not indicate any significant inpainting or restoration.
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