GALIZIA, Fede
(b. 1578, Milano, d. 1630, Milano)

Portrait of a Physician

1600-05
Oil on canvas, 54 x 42 cm
Private collection

The identity of the sitter is not known, however, the attribute of a skull, polished and shiny due to its handling by doctors, is sufficient to unequivocally identify the sitter's profession. Typical of Milanese painting during the time of Cardinal Federico Borromeo, the conventional compositional approach, including the elegant pose and the subtle idealization that lends the sitter an expression of great dignity and nobility, sets this canvas apart from Galizia's earliest known portraits, defined by a greater descriptive naturalism.