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Kress Collection

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Nicolas Regnier

(Maubeuge, Flanders, December 6, 1591 - November 7, 1667, Venice, Italy)

Portrait of a Man with a Feathered Hat, c. 1620
Oil on canvas
25 1/4 x 18 15/16 in. (64.14 x 48.1 cm)

Creation Place: Europe, Flemish
Technique: Painting
Credit Line: Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961
Accession Number: P61.1.13

Commentary
Regnier is very likely the painter of this work. The artist was definitely a Northern follower of Caravaggio, likely a French follower in the 1620s. However, we should consider other Northern followers of Caravaggio in 1620s Rome. This painting was not painted in Venice. It looks like it was painted in Rome because of the dark background, the very thin modeling, the transparent flesh, and the enigmantic subject. Also, once Caravaggio got to Venice, his works had an identifiable narrative. Is this a study? All Caravaggio's other compositions are more finished. Both the execution and surface preparation are ala prima (from life). The outfit is not necessarily wealthy, but he's a type from Caravaggio- a bravo, a street urchin. The plummed hats were charactieristic of Bravi in Rome. Bernini created the "speaking likeness" and this artist is capturing that too - a Bravo who has just spoken, his lips slightly parted. Followers of Caravaggio painted directly from life, so their models came from their circle---so to an extent this is about nationality.

In this portrait, the artist Nicolas R├ęgnier offers a bust-length view of an unknown young man. The sitter looks out at the viewer with a rather languid gaze, as if lost in thought. The quiet, somber mood of the work is enhanced by the dark background and by the man's heavy, black cloak and cap, which almost disappear into the background. Color is provided primarily by the red and yellow plumes of his hat.

Provenance
Kress Collection (#K1823), 1950. Donated by the Kress Foundation to Pomona College in 1961.

Attribution
Cleaning may reveal Guercino attribution

Marks
This may not be the original frame, but we should document what the back says. On verso: the "I9" could be 17th century. "IPV" is at least old. This painting when through Customs (the Dogana) in Rome. The Dogana stamp is 19th century. The partial art gallery label at top is probably British. Check the Giustiniani inventory marks to see if any match the marks this painting has.

Related Objects
A box of Xrays of the Kress Collection is on Shelf G in the Vault (6/5/2018).

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Dimensions
  • Sight Dimensions: 25 1/4 x 18 15/16 in. (64.14 x 48.1 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Frame Dimensions: 36 7/16 x 30 1/8 in. (92.55 x 76.52 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

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For further inquiries, contact Associate Director/Registrar Steve Comba at steven.comba@pomona.edu.