Oil on canvas in a beautiful molded wooden frame, gilded and painted with wave patterns. Italy, Marche region, 17th century.
Total dimensions: 62 x 51 cm
The painting we are presenting to you represents a soldier's head (swordsman) in tight framing.
He wears a front armor that reflects light and a brown velvet cloak.
Wearing a feathered cap, his head is tilted and turned to the left.
A swordsman, name derived from the word sword (in Italian) is a man of war a kind of mercenary.
It is therefore a painting from the 17th century probably executed by the workshop of the Caravaggio painter Dirck Jaspersz. Van Baburen (Wijk bij Duurstede (?), Around 1595 - Utrecht, February 21, 1624). This Dutch artist of the golden age will found with Gerrit Van Honthorst and Hendrick Ter Brugghen, the Caravaggio School of Utrecht.
In the mid-1610s, he left for Italy where he stayed for several years. In the "Eternal City" he is one of the first members of the Bentvueghels, of which he is even said to have been one of the founders; within the group he received the nickname “Biervlieg” (Beer fly).
He worked with the painter David de Haen (en), originally from Rotterdam, and came under the protection of two art collectors and patrons, Vincenzo Giustiniani and Cardinal Scipione Borghese. It is undoubtedly thanks to the influence of the latter that around 1617, van Baburen and De Haen were brought to participate in the decoration of the Cappella della Pietà of the church of San Pietro in Montorio Van Baburen realized for that - here a monumental Entombment, inspired by that of Caravaggio, now kept in the Vatican Museum.
In 1619, van Baburen and De Haen shared the same apartment in the parish of Sant 'Andrea della Fratte, a parish where Bartolomeo Manfredi also lived, whose style was closely related to theirs.
At the end of 1620, or the beginning of 1621, van Baburen returned to Utrecht and lived with his mother and sister on the Jansdam. He received some interesting commissions and painted some genre scenes. He was still single when he died suddenly, in 1624, when he was not yet 30 years old, probably a victim of the plague.