Portrait of a Knight of Malta

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Macrino d'Alba
approximately 1470-approximately 1528
Italy, 1499.
Tempura on panel.
panel: 15 1/8 x 11 1/4 inches (383 x 285 mm); framed: 33 7/8 x 23 7/8 inches (860 x 605 mm)
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 (1450-1527), 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 1499.

Inscribed in border of panel, "MACRINI MANV POST FATA VIVAM. 1499" (By the hand of Macrino I shall live after death. 1499).
Alessandro Imbert, Rome; purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan, 1909.

Portrait of the knight wearing a black outfit and black hat. He has a gold chain around his neck and the Malta cross in white pinned to his shirt.