This article analyses Cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici’s (1617–1675) systematic methods of collecting artists self-portraits, which are recorded in the extensive correspondence with his ‘agents’. These written sources provide information on strategies for buying as well as examining the self-portraits and reveal a methodical system of control to ensure they were authentic. Instead of documenting the artist's appearance, Leopoldo’s intentions were markedly different from the uomini illustri series created by Cosimo I. (1519–1574); rather, the Cardinal understood paintings as products of the hand of the specific artist and used the theories of physiognomy to test their authenticity.
Imagines è pubblicata a Firenze dalle Gallerie degli Uffizi. Direttore responsabile: Eike D. Schmidt. Redazione: Dipartimento di Comunicazione Digitale. ISSN 2533-2015
Anna Maria Procajlo
Anna Maria Procajlo, Leopoldo de‘ Medici e la sua ricerca sistematica del "ritratto fatto di sua propria mano“, in “Imagines”, n. 4, maggio 2020, pp. 134-151