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Christine de Lorraine - Santi di Tito workshop (1536 - 1603)
Christine de Lorraine - Santi di Tito workshop (1536 - 1603) - Paintings & Drawings Style Christine de Lorraine - Santi di Tito workshop (1536 - 1603) - Christine de Lorraine - Santi di Tito workshop (1536 - 1603) -
Ref : 109953
Period :
<= 16th century
Provenance :
Medium :
Oil on canvas
Dimensions :
l. 27.56 inch X H. 31.89 inch
Paintings & Drawings  - Christine de Lorraine - Santi di Tito workshop (1536 - 1603) <= 16th century - Christine de Lorraine - Santi di Tito workshop (1536 - 1603)
Galerie Thierry Matranga

Old paintings, religious artifacts, archeology

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Christine de Lorraine - Santi di Tito workshop (1536 - 1603)

Oil on canvas. Florence, workshop of Santi di Tito, c. 1600.
The distinctive features of the person depicted in this powerful portrait leave no doubt that this is the Duchess of Tuscany Christine de Lorraine (1565 - 1637), whose rich toilette demonstrates the Medici's desire to be the equal of kings. Here, opulence is a veritable political manifesto, embodied in the many pearls adorning her braided hair and the black velvet of her gown. Her gem-set necklace is reminiscent of the belt worn by Marie de Medici in her 1600 wedding portrait by Santi di Tito (Galleria Palatina, Florence). While the central medallion featuring two crossed Cs surmounted by a crown could be the monogram of Christine de Lorraine's parents (Charles III de Lorraine and Claude de France), it also corresponds to that of Catherine de Médicis, who was a veritable adoptive mother to our model. Thus, as a sign of her affection, the Queen of France bequeathed to "Madame Chrestienne Princesse de Lorraine her granddaughter for having nurtured her as her daughter [...] half of her furniture, cabinets, rings and jewels". We assume that this jewel was part of this legacy.
In addition to keeping alive the dynastic memory of the Medici family, Christine de Lorraine is here acting as ambassador for the duchy's financial health, as her husband, Grand Duke Ferdinand I de Medici (1549 - 1609), took Tuscany back into his own hands after the highly unpopular reign of his brother, Francis I de Medici. Indeed, his rehabilitation of the port of Livorno and his ordinances in favor of international trade considerably enriched the duchy. For her part, Christine de Lorraine promoted the arts and sciences, pensioning the famous engraver Jacques Callot and supporting Galileo in his conflict with the Holy See. Having outlived her husband by twenty-eight years, Christine de Lorraine left a lasting mark on Florence, remaining close to power during the reigns of her son, Cosimo II de' Medici, and her grandson, Ferdinand II de' Medici.
The apparent austerity of our portrait must be seen in the context of the codification of aristocratic behavior and manners at the time, according to the canons disseminated by the prestigious French, Austrian and Spanish monarchies. The zeitgeist at the time was one of propriety and dignity, as evidenced by the Santi di Tito corpus, to whose workshop our painting belongs. In the last third of the 16th century, this master of the Florentine school took over from Bronzino as the leading painter of the Medici aristocracy. Behind the apparent ornamental simplicity of his works, he succeeded in transcribing all his models' aspirations to achieve an iconic fixity, the only thing capable of elevating them above ephemeral contingencies and ordinary fates, as demonstrated by his Portrait of Christine de Lorraine (Palazzo Publico, Siena), with which our composition can be linked.

This majestic portrait is presented in an antique Italian carved and gilded wood frame.
Dimensions: 60 x 48 cm - 81 x 70 cm with frame
Sold with invoice and certificate of appraisal.

Biography : Little is known of Santi di Tito's youth (Sansepolcro, 1536 - Florence, 1603) before his arrival in Florence around 1550, where he trained with Bronzino and Baccio Bandinelli. From 1555, he was a painter at the Medici court under the direction of Vasari, before leaving for Rome from 1558 to 1564. On his return to Florence, he tempered his mannerism by focusing more on light effects and color, in a style that art historians describe as a transition to the Baroque, in line with the Council of Trent's new prescriptions for sacred art. His talent was recognized by his peers, as evidenced by a 1602 regulation of the Florence Academy of Drawing, which mentions him as a first-rate artist whose opinion must be sought for the export of works of art. Many artists trained in his studio, foremost among them Antonio Tempesta and his own son, Tiberio Titi, who may have participated in the execution of our painting.

Bibliography :
- CAFFIER, Michel, Au Panthéon des Dames de Lorraine : Sept destins de femmes de caractère, Éditions La Nuée Bleue, 2008.
- DEKONINCK, Ralph, La vision incarnante et l'image incarnée: Santi di Tito et Caravage, Paris, Éditions 1:1, 2016.
- Florence, Portraits à la cour des Médicis, (cat. exp., Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, September 11, 2015-January 25, 2016), Paris, Culturespaces, 2015.
- SPALDING, Jack, Santi Di Tito, New York, Garland Pub. 1982.

Galerie Thierry Matranga


Paintings & Drawings