Jacopo Robusti, called Jacopo Tintoretto and studio (Venice 1518 – 1594), Portrait of a nobleman in armour, standing three quarter length, beside him his helmet. Photo Sotheby's

inscribed upper left: FIDES.MEA.IN.DEO.EST; inscribed lower right with the monogram of Prince Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz-Rittberg. oil on canvas; 127.6 by 106 cm.; 50 1/4 by 41 3/4 in. Estimation 60,000 — 80,000 GBP

Provenance: Prince Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz-Rittberg (1711-1794), Vienna;
Prince Alois Wenzel von Kaunitz (1774-1848), Vienna;
His sale, Vienna, Artaria & Cie, 13 March 1820, lot 176;
August Artaria (1807-1893), Vienna;
His sale, Vienna, H.O. Miethke, 12 January 1886, lot 79;
Consul-General Eduard Friedrich Weber (1830-1907), Hamburg;
His Deceased sale, Berlin, Rudolph Lepke’s Kunst-Auctions-Haus, 20-22 February 1912, lot 133;
Michel van Gelder, Uccle, Belgium, from whom acquired. 

Exposition: Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Italiaansche Kunst in nederlandsche bezit, 1 July-1 October 1934, no. 381. 

Litterature: Italiaansche Kunst in nederlandsche bezit, exhibition catalogue, Amsterdam 1934, cat. no. 381, reproduced fig. 381;
F. Harck, 'Quadri di maestri italiani nelle gallerie private di Germania – La Galleria Weber di Amburgo', in Archivio storico dell’arte, vol. IV, 1891, p. 89;
T. von Frimmel, Geschichte der Wiener Gemäldesammlungen, I, part 3, Berlin and Leipzig 1899, pp. 108/110;
K. Woermann, Wissenschaftlichen Verzeichnisses der älteren Gemälde der Galerie Weber in Hamburg, Dresden 1907, pp. 124-125, cat. no. 133;
B. Berenson, The Venetian Painters of the Renaissance, New York 1910, p. 136;
E. Schaeffer, 'La Vendita della collezione Weber a Berlino', in Rassegna d’arte, vol. XII, 1912, p. 73;
T. von Frimmel, Lexicon der Wiener Gemäldesammlungen, vol. I, Munich 1913, p. 65; vol. II, 1914, pp. 352-353;
S. Reinach, Répertoire de peintures du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance, vol. IV, Paris 1918, p. 468, cat. no. 2, reproduced p. 468;
L. Venturi, 'Nell’esposizione d’arte italiana ad Amsterdam', in L’Arte, vol. XXXVII, 1934, p. 496;
R. van Marle, 'Le pitture all’esposizione d’arte antica italiana di Amsterdam', in Bollettino d’arte, vol. XXVIII, March 1935, p. 398, reproduced p. 397, fig. 12;
G. Matthiae, 'In margine all’esposizione d’arte italiana ad Amsterdam', in Rivista del Reale Istituto d’Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte, vol. V, nos. 1/2, 1935, pp. 224-225;
E. von der Bercken, Die Gemälde des Jacopo Tintoretto, Munich 1942, p. 106, cat. no. 51;
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Venetian School, London 1957, vol. I, p. 170 (this, and all the above, as Jacopo Tintoretto);
P. Rossi, Jacopo Tintoretto, vol. I (Portraits), Venice 1974, p. 140, reproduced fig. 189 (with no first-hand knowledge of the portrait, author places it among the works of uncertain attribution). 

This engaging portrait of an unknown nobleman, painted by Tintoretto between the years 1550-55, was in the early literature thought to depict Ottavio Farnese (1524-1586), Duke of Parma and Piacenza.1 This relatively early work in Tintoretto’s long career can be compared to other portraits from the period such as his Portrait of a young man at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, and the Portrait of a Gentleman holding a bust of Lucretia in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich.2 

The device on the crest of the helmet, a female figure pouring water from one vessel into another, is the emblem of the cardinal virtue of Temperence. 

Provenance: The first recorded owner of the painting, Prince Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz-Rittberg, whose monogram is found lower right (see fig. 1), was chancellor and foreign minister of the Austrian Empire under Maria Theresa and her sons, Joseph II and Leopold II. He was also a keen patron of the Arts and served as Protector for the Akademie der bildenden Kunste, Vienna, and assembled a notable collection.3 In the nineteenth century the painting passed into the collection of Consul-General Eduard Friedrich Weber who also amassed an important collection.

1. See, for example, Woermann, under Literature.
2. See Rossi, under Literature, p. 103, reproduced fig. 79, and p. 115, reproduced fig. 80 respectively.
3. See Trimmel, under Literature

Sotheby's. Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale including Three Victorian Masterpieces from the Leverhulme Collection. London | 04 déc. 2013 -www.sothebys.com