The artist highlights the political and cultural role of Ferry Carondolet, paradoxically moving him from the centre of the scene, leaving him at the work table covered with a rug, perhaps Turkish.
The painting depicts the imperial ambassador in Rome, in his studio, framed by an ancient colonnade and a serene countryside behind the businesslike secretary busy writing letters taken down from dictation. The key to reading this piece is the Latin motto written on the classical entablature, "NOSCE OPPORTUNITATEM", that derives from a poem by Cicero, "Tempus actionis opportunum appellatur occasio" (The appropriate time of action is called an occasion) (De Officiis 142). Revised in the light of the NOSCE TEMPUS by Erasmus, intimate friend of Ferry, the motto suggests a diplomatic virtue: to discern the right time for every action, juggling between imperial chancellery and the papal curia.
The original (oil on table 112x87 cm) is located in Madrid in the Thyssen Bornemiza collection
Gratitude goes to Peter Konigfeld for confirming the authorship of the above-mentioned painting. Isaac Fisches is the author of the copy and is included together with Johann Heiss and Johann Georg Bergmuller as the most important representative of the Augsburg Baroque. Between 1660 and 1674 Fisches was active as a painter for churches and as a portraitist for the counts of Maniago in Friuli, before obtaining the title of Master in Augsburg in 1676. In the 80's of the 17th century, Fisches made numerous paintings depicting mythological subjects.
Sebastiano Luciani, also known as Sebastiano del Piombo
(Venice 1485 Rome -1547) Copy of Isaac Fisches from the 17th century
Portrait of diplomat, Ferry Carondolet, and of his two secretaries
Oil on canvas, relined, restored
With Baroque pine-wood frame with Flemish listel
115 x 91 cm