Circle of G. Porta, Portrait of Clement XIV, 249th Pope (1769-1774), circa 1770.

The Painting

Antique painting, oil on canvas, 18th century, depicting a portrait of Clement XIV Ganganelli.
The stylistic references and the high drafting quality of this work are in harmony with the biography and artistic personality of Giandomenico Porta (San Maurizio D'Opaglio, 1722 - Rome, 1780), official portraitist of Pope Clement XIII Rezzonico, Pope Clement XIV Ganganelli and of Pius VI and innumerable cardinals. His presence in Rome is documented from 1742 and after an initial apprenticeship with Antonio Maria Visconti he opened a shop near Palazzo Massimo and the Church of Sant'Andrea della Valle. His activity for the papal court began around 1660 with the Rezzonico pontificate.
Clement XIV was portrayed several times by Porta, in this regard we recall the portrait kept in Urbino at the convent of the Conventual Franciscans and that of the Apolloni Gallery in Rome, where the pontiff was depicted at a younger age than in this canvas; by virtue of its excellent pictorial quality it is therefore likely that the painting offered here may have been made by Porta himself or by an active collaborator in his workshop.
Framed with nice lacquered and golden frame, of fairly recent era.
In more than good overall condition considering the age of the painting, a few scattered restorations of very slight entity. The original canvas has an old relining that gives no evidence of any kind of preservation problem. The stretcher was probably replaced at the time of the re-lining.
Canvas size: 99x72.5 cm. Frame size: 116.5x90 cm.

The History

Pope Clement XIV (Latin: Clemens XIV; 31 October 1705 – 22 September 1774), born Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 19 May 1769 to his death in 1774. At the time of his election, he was the only Franciscan friar in the College of Cardinals, having been a member of OFM Conventual. To date, he is the last pope to take the pontifical name of "Clement" upon his election.

He is best known for his suppression of the Society of Jesus.

Clement XIV's policies were calculated from the outset to smooth the breaches with the Catholic Crowns that had developed during the previous pontificate. The dispute between the temporal and the spiritual Catholic authorities was perceived as a threat by Church authority, and Clement XIV worked towards reconciliation among the European sovereigns. By yielding the Papal claims to Parma, Clement XIV obtained the restitution of Avignon and Benevento and in general he succeeded in placing the relations of the spiritual and the temporal authorities on a friendlier footing. The pontiff went on to suppress the Jesuits, writing the decree to this effect in November 1772 and signing it on 21 July 1773. (in Wikipedia)

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