Portrait of Giovanni Il Bentivoglio

WAG 8467


Passarotti'e pen drawings, particularly his profile portraits were much sought after in his native city of Bologna and further afield. His meticulous use of the pen with fine parallel and cross-hatched lines, which swell or taper according to the pressure placed on the quill pen, is related to a print engraver's techniques, but on a larger scale. Giovanni II Bentivoglio ruled Bologna from 1462-1506, a long time before Passarotti drew this profile. Passarotti could have based his striking portrait of a historic figure on a marble relief in a Bolognese church or the several medals produced under Bentivoglio's rule, which showed him in profile, wearing armour. Passarotti again used medals and tomb portraits for inspiration when he drew profiles of other members of the Bentivoglio family along with famous Bolognese lawyers, for a series on a smaller scale, which may have been meant to be engraved.