Salviati or Bronzino?
|Francesco Salviati (maybe), Portrait of a Man, about 1544-1548. J. Paul Getty Museum|
Carlo Falciani, co-organizer of the exhibition with retired Met curator Keith Christiansen, wrote the Met's catalog entry on the Getty painting, arguing for Bronzino. It appears that Christiansen doesn't agree. The controversy is over a century old. Falciani is one of a persistent minority of A-list scholars who have supported the Bronzino attribution.
|Agnolo Bronzino (definitely), Lodovico Capponi, 1550-1555. The Frick Collection, New York|
|Francesco Salviati, Carlo Rimbotti, 1548. Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Francesco Salviati, Portrait of a Florentine Nobleman, 1546-1548. Saint Louis Art Museum|
Other Salviatis hail from a different visual universe. A Salviati portrait lent by the Saint Louis Art Museum has the green curtain and fancy black outfit but is almost cartoonish. The St. Louis painting has been likened to the cornpone mannerism of Thomas Hart Benton(!)
Art historians would like to think that time and international loan shows reveal truth. But the controversy is also a reminder of how much we don't and may never know.