(b. 1625, Camerano, d. 1713, Roma)
Portrait of Pope Clement IX1669
Oil on canvas, 158 x 119 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
Apart from demonstrating the favours granted by important Roman patrons, Maratti's portraits are also perhaps the most lively and penetrating part of his work. He took pains to capture the exact physiognomy of his sitters in whom he sometimes seemed to uncover an incurable feeling of melancholy hiding just below the surface. Here his admiration for Raphael's portraits is evident, but he has added a more stylish air to suit the tastes of the high Baroque.
The painting was executed shortly before the death of the Pope who was on the throne from 1667 to 1669. It is signed on the paper sheet on the table.