I believe we have here an artist's miniature portrait painting of a Doge of Venice, painted "aprés", or from an older painting. From the facial features and beard, it seems likely to be from a painting of Francesco Donato, which dates to 1650s. I'm familiar with a few Doge paintings which are easier to determine because of the unique Doge cap which has an upswing to the rear, but I think that's what we're seeing as the secondary rise in this frontal pose. The issue of the jewels throws me slightly since descriptions and paintings almost all show a woven gold front to the hat, which is called a "corno ducale". A Doge was, essentially, a Duke, and Chief magistrate of Venice. The Doge Palace is one of the most visited buildings in modern Venice, and it's Bridge of Sighs, which exits the Palace courts to the prison across the canal. I'm walking those paths as I write, having been there numerous times. If I'm right, since we know the last Doge was out of place and the title abolished in 1787. While this may well be that old, I tend to think it's a little newer, perhaps as late as early-1800s. A wonderful find from Paris, actually. The original frame, easel stand is intact and there is a later addition of a hanging hook, as well. Measurements noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition, as shown, no cracks or hairlines, no chips to the wafer upon which the painting is done (in gouache). Much age to the frame, but it remains intact and quite beautiful from front. The paper backing has been torn away, as you can see. I'm going to put a protective backing on backside, but wanted to show you exactly what is back there. Quite unique, isn't it, and from my personal collections. You can find paintings of the various Doge through history, make your own comparisons, and might decide this is another one and not the one I named. Several do have similar full lush white beards. I purchased this miniature in France, but I believe it to be an Italian artist and painting, frame, early 1800s.
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