CESARI, Giuseppe
(b. 1568, Arpino, d. 1640, Roma)

Portrait of a Pope

c. 1630
Oil on canvas, 91 x 71 cm
Private collection

This portrait depicts an unidentified pope. It is a historicizing depiction of an earlier pontiff; the pope's beardless face indicates that he lived centuries before the execution of the painting, as the habit of wearing a beard did not enter into papal tradition until circa 1500. It was suggested that the sitter could be Innocent III (1198-1216), one of the most famous popes of the Middle Ages.

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