School of the Marche, XVII-XVIII century

Of the portraits selected from the fine collection in the Municipal Galleries, some are of special interest: portraits of notable persons from Pesaro and the Marche who held important ecclesiastical and political positions.

The Portrait of Cardinal Fabio degli Abbati Olivieri (Pesaro, 1658 – Rome, 1738) is by an anonymous artist. The missive he holds in his right hand confirms his identity, as does a comparison with the fresco by Giannandrea Lazzarini, in which the cardinal is portrayed in a room in Palazzo Olivieri. He was cousin to the Albani Pope Clement XI on his mother’s side, and was made a cardinal in 1715, following a brilliant ecclesiastical career. He was also a refined collector of art. His personal collection - to which the portrait on view probably belonged - formed part of Annibale degli Abbati Olivieri’s trust legacy to Machirelli Giordani, after which it entered the collections of the Municipality of Pesaro.

The Portrait of Cardinal Domenico Passionei (Fossombrone, 1682 - Rome, 1761), chief librarian at the Vatican Library and a cultivated collector of antiquities, is a copy, with variants, of a portrait by Sebastiano Ceccarini (Fano, 1703 - 1783), painted in 1738 and stored in the deposits of the Municipal Galleries. It was added to the municipal collection from that part of the Passionei legacy which passed to the Toschi Mosca family. This portrait can probably be attributed to Giuseppe Ceccarini, who followed in his father’s footsteps, specialising in this type of painting, of which other copies taken from the work of his more illustrious father are known to exist.

Sebastiano Ceccarini was the official portraitist to the nobility of Fano and Pesaro, and was particularly esteemed in Rome. To him should probably be attributed the Portrait of Marchese Carlo Mosca, a nobleman and man of letters from Pesaro and forebear of Marchesa Vittoria Toschi Mosca. He is holding the publication ‘Novelle letterarie’ in his hand, dated 1755, which clearly attests to his role as an intellectual.

The interesting Portrait of an Ecclesiast was painted in the first half of the XVII century. The strong contrast of light and shadow harks back to Caravaggio’s work and may perhaps be attributed to the circle of Giovanni Francesco Guerrieri (Fossombrone 1589 - Pesaro, 1657).

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Pesaro Urbino
Palazzo Ciacchi
Via Cattaneo, 34
61121 Pesaro
C.F. 80005890415