Portrait of Pietro Bembo
Oil on wood, 54 x 69 cm
Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest
(b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma)http://www.wga.hu/html_m/r/raphael/1early/08bembo.html
Web Gallery of Art
When I turned on my computer this morning, there were several entries on Pietro Bembo and several portraits and other images associated our Cardinal. I am glad my short post generated a search for portraits of Pietro Bembo. The internet’s search engines are very powerful and bloggers may be more useful than they seem.
The portrait of Pietro Bembo, shown above, is by Raphael (b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma) or Raffaello Sanzio and it is housed at the Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, in Budapest. Yes, Raffaelo Sanzio was at the Court of Urbino, his birthplace and the birthplace of “l’honnête homme,” not to mention salons. Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino produced a very beautiful portrait of Baldassare Castiglioni, the author of Il Cortegiano, or the Book of the Courtier (1528).
Pietro Bembo is mentioned in Wikipeda’s entry on Baldassare Castiglioni. As for the “Portrait of a Man” it remains unidentified, but according to Britannica, Giovanni Bellini did produce a painting of Cardinal Pietro Bembo, named “Portrait of a Young Man.” Bellini also painted an identified portrait of the Doge Leonardo Loredan.
His [Giovanni Bellini’s] Doge Leonardo Loredan in the National Gallery, London, has all the wise and kindly firmness of the perfect head of state, and his Portrait of a Young Man (c. 1505; thought to be a likeness of the Venetian writer and humanist Pietro Bembo) in the British royal collection portrays all the sensitivity of a poet (Britannica).
At the moment, we have three identified portraits of Pietro Bembo: Titian’s, Bassano’s and Raphael’s. Bellini’s “Portrait of a Man” or “Portrait of a Young Man,” shows a young man resembling Pietro Bembo, which is inconclusive. Given that Raphael, Titian, Bassano and Giovanni Bellini made a portrait of the Cardinal, it seems, however, that he was a prominent figure during his lifetime.
The book I am writing, on Molière, includes discussions of l’honnête homme. I am also revisiting préciosité and the querelle des femmes. Women met in salons.
- Pietro Bembo: Titian or Bassano? (26 March 2016)
- A Few Words on “Sprezzatura” (21 June 2012)
- Il Cortegiano, or “l’honnête homme” (3 October 2011)
© Micheline Walker
27 March 2016
(revised: 29 March 2016)