Portrait of a Knight of Malta, 1499
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909
The sitter wears the white cross of the Order of Malta, one of the oldest lay religious orders whose fifteenth-century members were Catholic, of noble birth, and devoted to works of virtue and charity. He may be Benvenuto San Giorgio of Biandrate, a nobleman, papal ambassador, and knight of the order since 1480. The dated inscription in the border reads By the hand of Macrino I shall live after death.