Filippo Archinto (born about 1500, died 1558), Archbishop of Milan

Artist: Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian, Pieve di Cadore ca. 1485/90?–1576 Venice)

Date: mid-1550s

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 46 1/2 x 37 in. (118.1 x 94 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913

Accession Number: 14.40.650

Description

The Milanese Filippo Archinto was a remarkable politician and cleric active in the mid-sixteenth century, supporting Saint Ignatius Loyola and attending the Council of Trent. He was painted by Titian when in Venice as papal nuncio between1553 and 1556. Archinto was confirmed as Archbishop of Milan but local intrigue worthy of the stage kept him from his chair and he died in exile in neighboring Bergamo. Titian’s sober yet painterly portrait of Archinto shows him at the height of his power in the mid-1550s. A related version in the Philadelphia Museum of Art depicts the cleric covered with a white veil, an unusual addition that may refer to the trials of his later life. For more on Archinto and the two versions of his portrait see metmuseum.org/collections.

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