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Ferdinando Brandani
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
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Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Sevilla (Spain), 1599 - Madrid (Spain), 1660

Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y See author's file

Ferdinando Brandani

1650. Oil on canvas.
Room 015

This portrait dates from Velázquez`s second trip to Italy (1649-51). For many years the sitter`s identity was unknown but he has recently been identified as the banker Ferdinando Brandini (1603?-1654). Of Portuguese ancestry, Brandini was close to Juan de Córdoba, the Spanish agent who looked after Velázquez in Rome. Brandani`s friendship with Juan de Córdoba, his pro-Spanish position and his employment in the service of the papal court certainly make him a candidate to be portrayed by Velázquez, in addition to which he was interested in painting, with which he had connections as a merchant and collector.

In the execution of this work Velázquez deployed a markedly narrow chromatic range but one characterised by a wide variety of tones, making masterful use of light to model the face, vary the background and give volume to the figure. This type of modelling is comparable to that used in other Roman period portraits including Innocent X and Juan de Pareja. In all these works the light and shadow is a fundamental element in the definition of the features, while also creating an interplay of highlights to which the iris of the eyes and the red of the lips also contribute, giving an enormous expressive unity to the composition as a whole and helping to convey the sense of vivid life that so defines this work, with its sense of real, palpitating flesh typical of Velázquez (Text from Portús, J.: Velázquez. Las Meninas and the Late Royal Portraits, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2013, p. 100).


Technical data

Inventory number
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Ferdinando Brandani
Height: 50.5 cm; Width: 47 cm
Edmund Davis, Chilham Castle (England), 1939; Auction at Christie's London, 1939; Fenouil Collection; Wildenstein & Co., París and New York; acquisition by the Prado Museum from the Wildenstein & Co., New York, 2003.

Bibliography +

Ricketts, C.S., The Prado and It's Masterpieces, Archibald Constable and Company, Westminster, 1903, pp. 88-89.

A Catalogue of the Pictures and Drawings in the National Loan Exhibition in Aid of the National Gallery Fund, Londres, 1909-1910, pp. nº44.

Mayer, August, Velázquez: a catalogue raisonne of the pictures and drawings, Faber and Faber, Londres, 1936, pp. nº463.

Mayer, August L, Velázquez, Paris, 1940, pp. lam. 82.

Pantorba, Bernardino de, La vida y la obra de Velázquez: estudio biográfico y crítico, Compañía Bibliográfica Española, Madrid, 1955, pp. nº170.

López Rey, José, Velázquez: a catalogue raisonné of his oeuvre, Faber and Faber, Londres, 1963, pp. nº482.

Asturias, Miguel Angel, La obra pictórica completa de Velázquez, Noguer, Barcelona. Madrid, 1970, pp. nº101.

Gudiol, José, Velázquez: 1599-1660, historia de su vida, catálogo de su obra, Ediciones Polígrafa, Barcelona, 1973, pp. 267.

Brown, Jonathan, Velázquez: pintor y cortesano, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1986, pp. 201.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Velázquez, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nueva York, 1989, pp. nº33.

Velázquez, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1990, pp. nº69.

López-Rey, José, Velázquez, el pintor de los pintores. La obra completa, Taschen Wildenstein Institute, Colonia, 1998.

Salort Pons, Salvador, Velázquez en Italia, Fundación de Apoyo a la Historia del Arte Hispánico, Madrid, 2002, pp. 314.

Checa Cremades, Fernando, Cortes del Barroco : De Bernini y Velazquez a Lvca Giordano, Cortes del Barroco. De Bernini y Velázquez a Luca Giordano, SeacexPatrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 2003, pp. 49 / lám. 2.4.

Portús Pérez, Javier, Diego Velázquez 1599-1660. Retrato de hombre, el llamado ''Barbero del Papa'' de Diego Velázquez, Museo del Prado. Memoria de Actividades, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2003, pp. 22-28.

Museo Nacional del Prado, El retrato español: del Greco a Picasso, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2004, pp. 346.

Enciclopedia del Museo del Prado, V, T.F. Editores: Fundación Amigos, Madrid, 2006, pp. 1848.

Omaggio a Capodimonte : da Caravaggio a Picasso, Electa, Nápoles, 2007.

Checa Cremades, Fernando, Velázquez: obra completa, Electa, Barcelona, 2008, pp. 185.

Rossetti, Marta, Amici e acquirenti di Angelo Caroselli (1585-1652), qualche suo inedito e un ritrato di Vilázquez, Annali della Pontificia Insigne Accademia di Belle Arti e Letrere dei Virtuosi al Pantheon, XI, 2011, pp. 477-516.

Curti, F., Congreso 'I rapporti tra Roma e Madrid nei secoli XVI e XVII: arte diplomazia e politica', Real Academia de España en Roma, 2011.

Moser, Wolf, Diego de Silva Velázquez. Das werk und der maler, II, Saint-Georges, Lyon, 2011, pp. 581.

Curti, F., Il ritratto svelato di Fernando Brandani. Carriera e interessi artistici di un banchiere amico di Diego Velázquez e di Juan de Córdoba, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XXIX, 2011, pp. 54-67 [56], il. 1.

Cruz Valdovinos, José Manuel, Velázquez: vida y obra de un pintor cortesano, Caja Inmaculada, 2011, pp. 291-293.

Portús Pérez, Javier, Velázquez 'Ferdinando Brandani'. En: Guía de la colección. Velázquez, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2012, pp. 70.

Portús Pérez, Javier, Diego Velázquez 'Ferdinando Brandani', en: Velázquez y la familia de Felipe IV, [1650-1680], Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 100-101 n.4.

López-Rey, José, 'Diego Velázquez. Ferdinando Brandani (formerly so-called Barber to the Pope)' En: Velázquez. The complete works, Taschen, Colonia, 2014, pp. 382 n.108.

Kientz, Guillaume, Velázquez. L'Affrontement de la peinture, Cohen & Cohen, París, 2015, pp. 268 cat.83.

Portús Pérez, Javier, 'Ferdinando Brandani y los códigos de la expresión en los restratos de Velázquez' En:, Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado. Círculo de lectores, Madrid, 2017, pp. 223-242.

López-Rey, José, Velázquez: la obra completa, Taschen, 2020, pp. 382 nº 108.

García Cueto, David, 'El segundo viaje a Italia y los retratos romanos' En:, Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado; Planeta, Madrid, 2021, pp. 217-239 [232-233].

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2649.

Exhibitions +

06.06.2020 - 25.07.2021

Velázquez and the Family of Philip IV
08.10.2013 - 09.02.2014

De Rembrandt a Picasso. Omaggio a Capodimonte
23.10.2007 - 20.01.2008

The Spanish Portrait: From El Greco to Picasso
20.10.2004 - 06.02.2005

Location +

Room 015 (On Display)

Update date: 30-04-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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