- Museum number
Portrait of Domenico Guidi, head and shoulders turned to front, with long hair. 1680
- Production date
Height: 467 millimetres
Width: 365 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Lit.: N. Turner, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Roman Baroque Drawings', London, 1999, I, no. 177
This and 1874,0808.40 are over-life-size portraits of Domenico Guidi (1625-1701), the important Roman sculptor. Their purpose is unknown, but the fact that the artist has studied the sitter from two different angles, and more than life-size, might suggest that the drawings were preparatory for the execution of a portrait bust. They have been dated 1680 on stylistic grounds, when Guidi would have been 55 years old.
Dottora Manuela Mena Marqués has kindly drawn our attention to a caricature portrait of Guidi by Maratti in the Academia de San Fernando, Madrid (inv. no. 1633; Mena, 1975, II, pp. 825-6, no. 519; red chalk, 275 x205 mm), which she has rightly identified by comparison with the sculptor's features as shown in 1874,0808.40-41. In the Madrid drawing Guidi is represented bust length, in profile to the left. His already considerable nose has been enlarged still further, and his eye has been given a sinister look. According to Mena, the drawing may be dated in the 1670s, when the sitter would have been between 45 and 50 years old. This intimate, somewhat mocking portrayal provides an amusing contrast to the formal rendering of the same man in the two British Museum drawings of a few years later.
Guidi was the nephew and pupil of the sculptor Giuliano Finelli. He left Naples for Rome in 1647, where, from 1649 to 1654, he worked in Algardi's studio and became both his friend and sculptural heir (Montagu, 1985, I, p. 214). Guidi carved altarpieces for several Roman churches, for example the 'Dream of St Joseph' (S. Maria della Vittoria) and the 'Pietà with the Trinity' (chapel of Monte di Pietà); and in 1675 he was elected prìncipe of the Accademia di San Luca. A contemporary, the collector Padre Sebastiano Resta, in a letter to Orazio Spada, dated 18 March 1672, noted Guidi's friendship with Maratti: "Sr Domenico Guidi scultore intimo, e potente amico di Sr Carlo Maratti" (Montagu, 1985, I, p. 265, n.47). Furthermore, a drawing of a candelabrum in the British Museum by Grimaldi (see At,10.99) has an inscription which notes that on 5 February 1669, Guidi, Maratti and Grimaldi took the 'candela' of the Accademia di San Luca to Pope Clement IX who gave them the faculty of a plenary indulgence and other blessings.
Literature: Mezzetti, 1961, pp.381 and 386 n.29; Vitzthum, 1971, p. 85, pl.xxix; Mena, 1975, I, p. 292 and II, pp. 825-6; Mena, 1976, p. 257 and n. 84; Rudolph, 1981, p. 179, n. 1.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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