Portrait of a Young Man
Oil on canvas
16 ¾ x 13 ½ inches
(42.5 x 34.3 cm)
Private Collection, North Carolina
This early portrait by Vouet, painted brilliantly and vividly from life on a sketchy background, is a newly discovered work painted during Vouet’s sojourn in Rome in the 1620s.
Another version of the portrait was published by Arnauld Brejon de Lavergnée in his article “Four New Paintings by Vouet,” The Burlington Magazine, vol. 124 (November 1982), p. 686, fig. 33. That painting, formerly in the collection of the Marques de Valdeterrazo, is of almost identical dimensions (43 x 35 cm) and apparently of equivalent quality. The relationship of the two paintings is unclear, but the free brushwork and limited preparation of the background of the present work suggests that it may have been a preparatory sketch from life that was further elaborated in the Valdeterrazo picture.
Following first-hand inspection of the present painting in January 2017, Dr. Brejon has confirmed Vouet’s authorship of the present painting and proposed a convincing identification of the subject, which he will shortly publish. The painting will as well be included in Dr. Brejon’s forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the paintings of Vouet.