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Portrait of Pope Alexander VII (Fabio Chigi)
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Portrait of Pope Alexander VII (Fabio Chigi)

Description Conservation Provenance Credit
Description The stately figure of the pope sits before a lavish drapery suggesting an aristocratic setting. He raises his right hand with its papal ring in a gesture of benediction. By seeing the pope blessing his audience, viewers are reminded that he is Christ's representative on earth. Fabio Chigi, who became Pope Alexander VII, ruled from 1655 until his death in 1667. Papal portraits were produced in many versions and were widely distributed. They were given as diplomatic gifts or acquired as expressions of political allegiance. This painting was probably executed by an assistant after an original by Baciccio. For more information on this portrait, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 326, pp. 452-453.
Date Description Narrative
Examinationexamined for condition
11/01/1944Treatmentvarnish removed or reduced
4/27/2005Treatmentcleaned; surface cleaned
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1881 catalogue: no. 218; 1897 catalogue: no. 350, as Baciccio]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902

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ca. 1667 (Baroque)
oil on canvas
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
Visible painted surface H: 35 1/2 x W: 30 3/16 in. (90.1 x 76.7 cm)


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