211. [French school]

ALLYÉ, Nicolas

Portrait of Roberto Bellarmino.

[Pont-à-Mousson, ca. 1621]

Oil on canvas, 180 x 135 cm, signed at lower right "N. Allyé Faciebat, Muss[ipons]" (lower left corner restored with loss of date, professionally restored lacunae at lower text section).

In 17th-c. black/gilt wooden frame.

The great Jesuit cardinal Roberto Bellarmino (1542-1621) was the nephew of Pope Marcellus II. He taught philosophy and rhetoric in Florence and Mondovi, studied theology at Padua before moving to Leuven in 1570, where he taught theology. From 1576 to 1589 he was professor of controversial theology in Rome, where he achieved fame as a writer of counter-reformation polemics. Bellarmino was part of the Inquisition commission ordered to investigate Galileo Galilei's scientific findings. He gave Galileo an official warning, prohibiting to publicly defend his views on heliocentrism. The portrait represents Bellarmino as a cardinal and scholar in his study, with the family coat of arms at the lower right. The painter Nicolas Allyé was active between 1617 and 1632 in the French town of Pont-à-Mousson. One can find his paintings in at least 3 churches of the "Grand-Est" region (Alsace - Champagne - Ardennes). The work has recently been professionally cleaned and restored.

€ 12.000 / 15.000

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