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Ottavio Leoni (1578 - 1630)

Portrait of Duke Ferdinando Orsini

Black chalk, white chalk, red chalk and pencils on paper

Annotated at the bottom, in pen: Maggio 1253 - 1621 Duca Ferdinando Orsino

23 x 15.2 cm

Appreciated by the greatest Roman families such as the Colonna, Pamphili or the Borghese, Ottavio Leoni quickly made a name and a solid reputation by representing these powerful. The Orsini family is one of the most important princely families of the Italian Renaissance. The Bracciano branch settled in the 17th century in the city of Rome.


Ferdinando Orsini, fourth of the Bracciano Dukes, is depicted in a three-quarter bust facing left.


Ottavio Leoni drew several portraits of the Duke. It is important to note that from 1615, the artist decides to number his portraits with a pen by adding, to the year of the execution, the month and a serial number. The last known bears the number 434 and is dated 1629.

The historical value of these portraits is immense. Considered as works in their own right or as souvenirs, most of these drawings are commissioned. A large part would have been intended to achieve a historical fresco of famous men. Ottavio Leoni thus leaves us a gallery of remarkable portraits, reflecting all this Roman society of the beginning of the 17th century.

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