FIGINO, Giovanni Ambrogio
(b. 1548, Milano, d. 1608, Milano)

Portrait of Lucio Foppa

c. 1590
Panel, 105 x 50 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

The painting is signed on the crest of the helmet: "JO AMBROSIUS FIGINUS P." It is not certain that the subject is really the Field Marshal Lucio Foppa, about whom there is little documentation.

The only remaining example of the genre of painting for which Figino was famous among his contemporaries, this portrait also reveals the varied influences on the artist. Although it shows reminiscences of Flemish painting, the portrait is more openly "cavalier," with the noble subject posed as if on a stage. The composition plays on the contrast between the closed profile on the right and the open one on the left. The latter relates to the decorative details of the chiseled helmet, the flowers and the feathers, which are all touched by incisive highlights. Notations of light also appear on the lace of the collar and the sleeves, which correspond to the flowers and fruit on the table. Daring contrasts mark the dramatic colour range of blues, reds, and yellows.

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