Portrait of Cardinal Marco Gallo

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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In 1681, Marco Gallo was made a cardinal by Pope Innocent X, having served as Bishop of Rimini, a city in northwestern Italy from 1659. In this portrait he wears a vivid red cardinal’s biretta on his head and a silk mozzetta (short cape), its beautiful iridescence and volume created by carefully applied brushstrokes. Gallo must have been around 60 years old in this portrait, but he appears remarkably youthful. His gaze is engaging and direct, his expression stern. Gaulli has captured his greying hair and wispy beard, as well as a slight sense of jowliness, but this is a sympathetic portrait of a sensitive, contemplative man. A native of Genoa, Gaulli spent most of his career in Rome during the late seventeenth century. He painted many illustrious sitters, including popes and other cardinals, but few of his works are known today.

The National Gallery, London



Portrait of Cardinal Marco Gallo




Oil on canvas


H 72.6 x W 63.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1991

Work type



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