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Niccolò Vitelli (1414–1486)

Photo credit: The Henry Barber Trust, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

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Notes

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Niccolò Vitelli was a ruthless mercenary commander who established his family as rulers of Città di Castello. This portrait was painted after his death. It was probably commissioned by his sons as a memorial, and it originally hung with their portraits. The profile portrait was used on coins and medals and it therefore held associations of power and of memory. In this case, the format also made it easier for Signorelli to depict the deceased.

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Birmingham


Date

c.1492–c.1496

Medium

tempera on wood

Measurements

H 44.2 x W 33 cm

Accession number

45.3

Acquisition method

purchased, 1945

Work type

Painting

Inscription description

Inscribed: N.V


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Normally on display at

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TS England

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