Head of a Bishop

Artist: Gaetano Gandolfi (Italian, San Matteo della Decima 1734–1802 Bologna)

Date: ca. 1770

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 18 3/8 x 14 7/8 in. (46.7 x 37.8 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Purchase, Charles and Jessie Price and Stephen Mazoh Gifts, 2010

Accession Number: 2010.117


A brilliant painter and draftsman, Gandolfi belonged to a family of artists in Bologna: his brother Ubaldo was a painter and so was his son Mauro. In addition to altarpieces, ceiling decorations, and canvases with mythological subjects, he painted small canvases with bust-length images of men and women of various walks of society. These were intended not as portraits but as character studies in which the artist explored a variety of attitudes and expressions. This painting is notable for its virtuoso brushwork and freshness of execution, enhanced by its fine preservation.