Pier Francesco Cittadini (Milan 1616-1681 Bologna)
Portrait of a lady, full-length, in a red and gold brocade dress standing before a red curtain oil on canvas 200 x 115cm (78 3/4 x 45 1/4in).
PROVENANCE: A noble villa in Lombardy, from which acquired at the end of the 19th century by an old Milanese family and thence by descent to the present owner
Cittadini's style displays a number of influences from having worked in diverse regions of Italy during the course of his career. After initially studying under Daniele Crespi (1598-1630) in Milan, he entered the Bolognese workshop of Guido Reni (1575-1642), who exerted a strong impact on him and Cittadini fast became established in that city. In the mid-1640s he then made a journey to Rome, which transformed both the subject-matter of his art and his technique. He appears to have been influenced there by the Venetian traits of Pietro Testa (1611-1650) and Pier Francesco Mola (1612-1666) in particular. After returning to Bologna in 1650 he won considerable acclaim for his still lifes and portraits, in which he united realism and classicism and which have been admired for their warm and direct naturalism.