Portrait of Leonardo Salvagno (?)

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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A soberly dressed man turns to look at us, his arm leaning on a large red book with gilded corner pieces and a central boss. Although the Latinised name ‘Leonardus Salvaneus’ was added to the portrait later, this may be a true record of his identity. The inscription on the ornate book translates as: ‘in addition the special rights of a citizen of Bergamo’. The book may concern the special rights granted in 1561 to the city of Bergamo by Venice, which ruled Bergamo at that time. The man probably played a part in negotiating Bergamo’s privileges. The picture is in poor condition. The black paint is particularly damaged and there are residues of old yellowing varnish in many areas. Some of the retouching – where the paint surface has been repaired in the past – has badly discoloured.

The National Gallery, London



Portrait of Leonardo Salvagno (?)


about 1570-5


Oil on canvas


H 100.6 x W 74.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Layard Bequest, 1916

Work type



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