The present portrait of a distinguished gentleman had long been thought to be by Bartolomeo Passarotti, largely due to the similarity of the puffed hat with similar headgear adorning portraits by that Bolognese master. The costume is in fact typical of the style around the year 1570, as one sees, for example in Giambattista Moroni's Portrait of Count Spini, datable ca. 1573, in the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo. Other stylistic traits, in particular the pinkish complexion of the subject's face, had suggested an attribution to Federico Barocci, although the drapery background with its agitated highlights -called by Boschini "sfregazzi," (usually translated as scumbles)-- so typical of Venetian painting highlights, would suggest otherwise.
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