Scipione Pulzone, called Il Gaetano, ‘Portrait of Pope Gregory XIII, bust-length’, Christie's Old Masters

Francesco Petrucci has confirmed the attribution on the basis of photographs (private communication, 2011), suggesting that this canvas could have been a preparatory study for an official portrait of Pope Gregory XIII, such as Pulzone's three-quarter-length painting in a private collection, Rome (see F. Petrucci, I Volti del Potere: Ritratti di uomini illustri a Roma dall'Impero Romano al Neoclassicismo, exhibition catalogue, Rome, 2004, pp. 104-105, no. 24). The present painting is closely related to a portrait of the Pope that sold at Sotheby's, London, 12 December 1990, lot 25, as 'Lavinia Fontana'. Ugo Boncompagni (1502-1585), was elected Pope in 1572, and was the father of Jacopo Boncompagni, whose striking portrait by Pulzone will be offered in these rooms on 30 January 2013, in Renaissance (lot 129).

Worcester, Massachusetts, College of the Holy Cross, The General Art Company Permanent Exhibition of Paintings by Old Masters, 1929, no. 1, as 'Pope Pius IV (Portrait)...Titian'.
Worcester, Massachusetts, College of the Holy Cross, on loan 1929-circa 1932.


Venuti collection, Malta, by 1895, when purchased by Giuseppe Rossetto di Alessandro, Rome, by whom brought to The United States in the late 1920s, and thence by descent.

About Scipione Pulzone, called Il Gaetano