The Portland Vase, £5.00
Height: 145.000 mm
Width: 110.000 mm
PD 1853-6-11-229 (Bartsch XVII. 249.9)
Prints and Drawings
Ottavio Leoni, Self-portrait, an engraving
Italy, AD 1625
Ottavio Leoni (1578-1630) was one of the most fashionable and successful portraitist working in Rome during the first thirty years of the seventeenth century. He favoured black, red and white chalk on tinted paper, for numerous portrait drawings; his painted portraits have unfortunately not survived. In the last decade of his life he produced some forty etched or engraved portraits, and had clearly planned more that remained unrealized at his death.
This signed and
dated engraved self-portrait is characteristic of his
unostentatious style. It combines extreme technical refinement with
a simple pose. The hair, moustache, goatee beard and eyebrows
display an effortless naturalism. Most astonishing is the
Leoni's genius as a portraitist is revealed above all by the vivid sense of an individual personality, comfortable with himself and at ease with the artist observing him. His portraits always emit this atmosphere.
J.T. Spike, Baroque portraiture in Italy: (John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, 1984)
S.W. Reed and R. Wallace, Italian etchers of the Renaiss (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1989)