Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Primary tabs

Gian Lorenzo Bernini
(1598–1680)

Portrait of Sisinio Poli, 1638

Inscribed on paper attached to lower edge of drawing, in pen and brown ink, Eques Laurentinus Berninus / Die vigesimo octavo Aprilis 1638 / Delineavit / Effigies Sisinii Poli anno aetatis Suae / Decimo octavo.

Black, red, and white chalk, on light brown paper
10 5/8 x 8 1/8 (addition 2 7/16 h.) inches (270 x 207 mm; addition 62 mm)

Gift of J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1924

IV, 174
Item description: 

Bernini made numerous finished chalk portraits intended as independent works of art. This sensitively rendered likeness bears an uncommon inscription identifying the sitter as Sisinio Poli, depicted on 28 April 1638 at the age of eighteen. At this time Poli was Writer of Apostolic Letters under Pope Urban VIII and active as an amateur artist in the circle of Francesco Barberini. Bernini was later to construct and decorate for Sisinio the Poli family chapel in San Crisogono, Rome.