(b. 1655, Bergamo, d. 1743, Bergamo)

Portrait of Count Giovanni Battista Vailetti

c. 1710
Oil on canvas, 226 x 137 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

The Bergamasque artist Vittore Ghislandi underwent a long apprenticeship in his two stays in Venice between 1675 and 1701, and combined the training received in Venice from the Baroque artist Sebastiano Bombelli and in Milan from Salomon Adler, still strongly influenced by Rembrandt, in a style of clearly realistic intentions, consonant with the great tradition of Lombard painting. Ghislandi exercised this predilection with incomparable strength in his portraits, of which the one depicting Count Giovanni Battista Vailetti is an excellent example. The nobleman's proud good looks and his serene control over his feelings are rendered with exceptional vividness as he poses in the intimacy of his study. There is a definite Enlightenment flavour in the realistic rendering of appearances in the portrait and in the acute psychological analysis it embodies.