Marcantonio Pasqualini (1614–1691) Crowned by Apollo

Artist: Andrea Sacchi (Italian, Rome (?) ca. 1599–1661 Rome)

Date: 1641

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 96 x 76 1/2 in. (243.8 x 194.3 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Purchase, Enid A. Haupt Gift and Gwynne Andrews Fund, 1981

Accession Number: 1981.317


Sacchi was the leading classical painter in Rome in the second quarter of the seventeenth century. Pasqualini, the foremost male soprano of his day, joined the choir of the Sistine Chapel in 1630, and from 1632 was a protagonist in many operas produced at the Palazzo Barberini. In this allegorical portrait, his hand rests on the keys of an upright harpsichord, decorated with the figures of Daphne and a bound satyr. The figure of Apollo, loosely based on the ancient sculpture known as the Apollo Belvedere, stands in front of Marsyas, tied to a tree with his bagpipes beside him.