Jacopo Tintoretto PORTRAIT OF CARDINAL MARCANTONIO DA MULA2018-10-22T16:47:56+00:00

Jacopo Tintoretto

1519 Venice 1594

PORTRAIT OF CARDINAL MARCANTONIO DA MULA

c. 1562–3
Oil on canvas – 187 x 103 cm.

Literature

Marcantonio Da Mula
– Daniele Santarelli, Le relazioni diplomatiche tra la repubblica di Venezia e la Santa Sede negli anni del papato di Paolo IV. Prospettive di ricerca, in «Studi Storici Luigi Simeoni», 2005, pp. 47-69.
– Eugenio Albèri, Le relazioni degli ambasciatori veneti al Senato durante il secolo decimosesto raccolte, annotate ed edite da E. A., Series ii, Tome iv, Florence 1857, pp. 67-120.
– Eugenio Albèri, Le relazioni degli ambasciatori veneti al Senato durante il secolo decimosesto, raccolte, annotate ed edite da E. A., Series i, Tome iii, Florence 1853, pp. 393-408.
– Gino Benzoni, Zaccaria Dolfin, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, xl, Rome, 1991, pp. 576-588.
– Gino Benzoni, Paolo Paruta, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, lxxxi, Rome, 2014.
– Gino Benzoni, Trento 1563, una discussione tra Veneziani, in Per il Cinquecento religioso italiano […], ed. Sangalli, proceedings of a conference held in 2001, 2 vols., Rome, 2003, pp. 29-63.
– Giuseppe Cappelletti, Storia della Repubblica di Venezia dal suo principio sino a giorno d’oggi, opera originale del prete veneziano G. C., vol. viii, Venice, 1852, p. 368 et seq.
– Emanuele Antonio Cicogna, Saggio di bibliografia veneziana, Venice, 1847.
– Emmanuele Antonio Cicogna, Delle inscrizioni veneziane raccolte ed illustrate da Emmanuele Antonio Cicogna cittadino veneto, 6 vols. in 26 folders, Venice, 1824–53, i (1-4): 1824, ii (5-8): 1827; iii (9-12): 1830; iv (13-16): 1834; v (17-20): 1842; vi (21-26): 1853 [in folder 25: Correzioni e giunte ai volumi i. ii. iii. iv. v e al presente volume vi, in 26: Correzioni e giunte finali a tutti li sei volumi e Indice generale dell’ultimo volume] [facsimile reprint: Bologna, 1982–3]: iii, 1830, p. 55; iv, 1834, pp. 186, 452; v, 1842, p. 18 s. ; vi, 1853, pp. 531, 611-629, 737-744.
– Michel De Certeau, Carlo Borromeo, santo, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, xx, Rome, 1977, pp. 260-269.
– Stephan Ehses, Concilium Tridentinum: diariorum, actorum, epistolarum, tractatuum nova collectio, vols. iv, v, viii, ix, Friburgi Brisgoviae, 1904–24 (Da Mula’s reports on the council are published here).
– Massimo Firpo, Giovanni Morone, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, lxxvii, Rome, 1986, pp. 66-74.
– Massimo Firpo, Fabrizio Biferali, “Navicula Petri”. L’arte dei papi nel Cinquecento, Rome-Bari, 2009.
– Massimo Firpo, ed., Relazioni di ambasciatori veneti al Senato, ii (Germany 1506–54), Turin, 1970, p. xxiv.
– Giuseppe Gullino, Marcantonio Da Mula, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, xxxii, Rome, 1986, pp. 383-387.
– Hubert Jedin, Girolamo Seripando, Sein Leben und Denken in Geisteskampf drs 16. Jahrhunderts, Würzburg, 1937, Italian edition La sua vita e il suo pensiero nel fermento spirituale del XVI secolo, ed. Giulio Colombi and Angelo Maria Vitale, “Storia, 73”, 2 vols., Brescia, 2016;
– Hubert Jedin, Geschichte des Konzils von Trient, Band i-iv, Freiburg im Br., 1949–75, Italian edition, Storia del Concilio di Trento, Brescia, 1972–9, vol. iv, 1975, Italian edition revised by G. Alberigo, 1979.
– Giammaria Mazzuchelli, Gli Scrittori d’Italia, cioè Notizie storiche, e critiche intorno alla vita, e agli scritti dei letterati italiani, Brescia, 1753–63, vol. i, part ii, pp. 651, 655.
– Gaetano Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni specialmente intorno ai principali santi, beati, martiri, padri[…], vols. 103, Venice, 1840-61 (the Indice generale alfabetico delle materie del Dizionario, in 6 vols., is dated 1878).
– A. Olivieri, Riforma ed eresia a Vicenza nel Cinquecento, Rome, 1992.
– Sforza Pallavicino, Storia del Concilio di Trento, scritta dal P. Sforza Pallavicino, della Compagnia di Giesù […],Rome, 1656-7.
– Pio Paschini, Come fu cardinale Marco Antonio Da Mula detto l’Amulio, in «Rivista della storia della Chiesa in Italia», xi, 1957, pp. 393-406.
– Pio Pascini, Tre illustri prelati del Rinascimento. Ermolao Barbaro, A. Castellesi, Giovanni Grimani, Rome, 1957, pp. 153-166, 182.
– Ludovico Barone von Pastor, Storia dei papi dalla fine del Medio Evo, compilata col sussidio dellArchivio segreto pontificio e di molti altri Archivii, VII. Storia dei papi nel periodo della riforma e restaurazione cattolica. Pio IV (1559-65), Italian version by Mons. Prof. Angelo Mercati, Nuova ristampa, Rome, 1928, pp. 628 et seq. VIII. Storia dei papi nel periodo della riforma e restaurazione cattolica. Pio V (1566-72), Rome, 1929.
– D. E. Queller, The Develpment of Ambassadorial Relazioni, in Renaissance Venice, ed. J. R. Hale, London, 1973, p. 181.
– Flavio Rurale, Pio IV, papa, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, lxxxiii, Rome, 2015, pp. 808-814.
– Francesco Sansovino, Venetia città nobilissima, et singolare, descritta in xiiii. Libri da M. Francesco Sansovino, . Cronico particolare delle cose fatte da i veneti dal principio della città fino all’anno 1581, Giacomo Sansovino, Venice, 1581.
– Daniele Santarelli, Bernardo Navagero, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, lxxviii, Rome, 2013.
– Fra Paolo Sarpi, Istoria del Concilio di Trento, London, 1619 (under the anagrammatic pseudonym Pietro Soave Polano [Paolo Sarpi Veneto]).
– Ignaz Stich, Gustav Turba, Alfred Francis Pribram, Venetianische Depeschen von Kaiserhofe (Dispacci di Germania) herausgegeben von der historischen Commission der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 3 vols., Vienna, 1889-95, i, part 2 (1892), pp. 527-664.
– G. F. Zanardi, De laudibus illustrissimi et reverendissimi d. Marci Antonii Amulii S. R. E. Cardinalis […], Patavii, 1567.

Jacopo Tintoretto
– Luisa Attardi, in Tintoretto, catalogue of the exhibition curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, Rome, Scuderie del Quirinale, 25 February–10 June 2012, Geneva-Milan, 1992.
– Angela Böck, Die Sala Regia im Vatikan als Biespiel der Selbstdarstellung des Papsttums in der zweiten Hälfte des 16. Jahrhunderts, Hildesheim, Zurich, New York, 1997, p. 125-126.
– Mary Louisa Boyle, Biographical Catalogue of the Portraits at Panshanger the Seat of Earl Cowper, K. G., London, 1885.
– Alessio Celletti, Autorappresentazione papale ed età della Riforma: gli affreschi della Sala Regia vaticana, “Eurostudium January–March 2013”.
– Berenice Davidson, The Decoration of the Sala Regia under Pope Paul III, in «The Art Bulletin», lviii, 1976, pp. 395-423.
– Jan L. de Jong, The painted decoration of the Sala Regia in the Vatican: intention and reception, in T. Weddingen, A. Roth, B. Kempers, ed., Functions and Decorations: Art and Ritual at the Vatican Palace in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Turnhout, 2004.
– Jan L. de Jong, Propagating Venise’s finest hour: Vicissitudes of Giuseppe Porta Salviati’s painting of Pope Alexander III and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in the Sala Regia at Vatican Palace, in Annette De Vries, ed., Cultural Mediators. Artists and Writers in the Crossroads of Tradition, Innovation and Reception in the Low Countries and Italy, vol. xxxi, Groningen, 2008.
– Miguel Falomir, ed., Tintoretto, exhibition catalogue, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2007.
– Caterina Furlan, Patrizia Tosini, ed., I cardinali della Serenissima. Arte committenza tra Venezia e Roma (1523–1605), Cinisello Balsamo, 2014.
– Rodolfo Pallucchini, Paola Rossi, Le opere sacre e profane, 2 vols., Milan, 1982.
– Loren Partridge, Randolph Starn, Triumphalism and the Sala Regia in the Vatican, in “All the World’s a Stage. Art and Pageantry in the Renaissance and Baroque, Papers in Art History from the Pennsylvania State University, vol. vi/1, Triumphal Celebrations and the Ritual of Statecraft, Pennsylvania, 1990, pp. 22-81.
– Carlo Ridolfi, Le Maraviglie dell’Arte, overo le Vite de gl’illustri pittori veneti, e dello Stato. Ove sono raccolte le Opere Insigni, i costumi, & i ritratti loro. Con la narratione delle Historie, delle Favole, e delle Moralità da quelli dipinte. Descritte dal Cavalier Carlo Ridolfi. Con tre Tavole copiose de’ Nomi de’ Pittori antichi, e moderni, e delle cose Notabili. Parte Prima […]. Parte Seconda […], In Venetia, presso Gio. Battista Sgava, 1648 [edition ed. Detlev von Hadeln, 2 vols., Berlin, 1914–24; facsimile reprint of the von Hadeln edition, “Fonti per la storia dell’arte”, 2 vols., Rome, 1965].
– Paola Rossi, Jacopo Tintoretto, “L’opera completa”, ed. Rodolfo Pallucchini and Paola Rossi, volume i I Ritratti, with an introduction by Rodolfo Pallucchini, Venice, 1974.
– Paola Rossi, ed., Jacopo Tintoretto. Ritratti, exhibition catalogue, Venice, Gallerie dell’Accademia, 25 March–10 July 1994, subsequently Vienna, 31 July–30 October 1994, Milan, 1994.
– Vittorio Sgarbi, ed., Tintoretto, exhibition catalogue, Rome, Scuderie del Quirinale, 25 February–10 June 2012, Geneva-Milan, 1992.
– Patrizia Tosini, Impronte veneziane: le committenze artistiche dei cardinali della Serenissima a Roma, in I cardinali della Serenissima. Arte committenza tra Venezia e Roma (1523–1605), ed. Caterina Furlan and Patrizia Tosini, Cinisello Balsamo, 2014, pp. 283-307.
– Giorgio Vasari, a) Le vite de’ piu eccellenti pittori, scultori, et architettori, Scritte, e di nuovo Ampliate da M. Giorgio Vasari Pit. et Archit. Aretino, co’ ritratti loro Et con le nuove vite dal 1550 insino al 1567 Con Tavole copiosissime De’ nomi, Dell’opere, E de’ luoghi ov’elle sono; b) Le Vite de’ piu eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori, Scritte da M. Giorgio Vasari pittore et architetto aretino, Di Nuovo dal Medesimo Riviste Et Ampliate con i ritratti loro Et con l’aggiunta delle Vite de’ vivi, & de’ morti Dall’anno 1550. infino al 1567, Florence, Giunti, 3 vols., 1568 [2nd ed. (for a discussion of the two frontispieces in the same edition see the Premessa by Rosanna Bettarini in the first volume, serie Testo, of the reprint mentioned below, pp. xx-xxx); 1st ed.: 2 vols., Florence, 1550, q. v.] [edition ed. Gaetano Milanesi, Le Vite de’ più eccellenti Pittori Scultori ed Architettori scritte da Giorgio Vasari Pittore Aretino, con nuove annotazioni e commenti di Gaetano Milanesi, 9 vols., Florence, 1878–85 (last reprint 1906); edition ed. Bettarini, Barocchi: Le vite de’ più eccellenti pittori scultori e architettori nelle redazioni del 1550 e 1568, text ed. Rosanna Bettarini, consolidated historical commentaries ed. Paola Barocchi, 6 vols. of text, 3 of commentary and 2 index vols. published so far, Florence, 1966-97].
– Gustav Friederich Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain: being an account of the chief collections of paintings, drawings, sculptures, illuminated mss., &c. &c., 3 vols., London, 1854 [facsimile reprint ed. Ronald W. Lightbown, London, 1970; other facsimile reprint ed. Susan Pearce, in Museums and their development: the European tradition 1700–1900, 8 vols., London, 1999].
– Gustav Friedrich Waagen, Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain: being an account of more than forty collections of paintings, drawings, sculptures, illuminated mss., c. c., visited in 1854 and 1856, and now for the first time described by Dr. Waagen, Director of the Royal Gallery of Pictures in Berlin, forming a supplemental volume to the Treasures of Art in Great Britain, three volumes, London, 1857 [facsimile reprint ed. Ronald W. Lightbown: London, 1970].


The Cardinal
Marcantonio Da Mula, Latinised to give Amulius, proved to be one of the most interesting figures of the 16th century. We have had to rely for his physical appearance so far on an anonymous 16th century likeness hanging in the Vatican Library (1), and for his biography on a series of anecdotes and tidbits published by Emanuele Cicogna in the 19th century in his Inscrizioni Veneziane and now in the appropriate entry in the Dizionario biografico degli Italiani edited by Giuseppe Gullino (1986). This is altogether unsatisfactory. As Pastor said a century ago, the man deserves monographic treatment on the strength of his literary relations alone, but we would add also for his political and artistic ties. The inscription on the portrait reads M. ANT. AMULIUS. CARDINAL. SEDIS APOSTOLICAE. BIBLIOTHECARIUS. IV., and it is this that has made it possible to identify the sitter. Marcantonio da Mula was raised to the purple by Pope Pius IV at the age of fifty-one in the consistory session of February 1561. He had come to Rome as the Ambassador of the Republic of St. Mark to the Holy See on 13 January 1560, shortly after Giovanni Angelo de’ Medici from Milan had been elected to the papacy under the name of Pius IV. Da Mula came from a career in government and diplomacy after an initial, strong grounding in the tradition of Venetian humanism fuelled by Classical culture, both Greek and Latin, and by philosophical and legal studies leading to a degree and the title of Doctor in Artibus from the University of Padua. He corresponded, in the course of his career, with Girolamo Muzio, Pier Paolo Vergerio, Giangiorgio Trissino, Bernardo Tasso, Pietro Bembo, Pietro Aretino, Francesco Sansovino and Alvise Cornaro, and later with Girolamo Seripando. Da Mula’s letters to Gian Giorgio Trissino were published by Piovene in Vicenza in 1878. We can detect a special friendship with Trissino: in 1539 the two men debated the theme of grace and free will (Olivieri, 1992, pp. 263 et seq.), Aretino, writing from Venice in September 1545, urged Amulio to convey his greetings to Trissino, and Trissino named him as an executor in his will. Other letters are to be found in the Inscrizioni veneziane of Emanuele Antonio Cicogna (1824–53, vi (1853), pp. 611-629, 737-744, docs. 8-10). A letter to Aretino, «divine poet and very dear friend», is included in the Lettere scritte al signor Pietro Aretino da molti Signori, Venice, Marcolini, 1552. Bernardo Tasso addressed two letters to Da Mula before he was appointed cardinal, the second of which, asking him for an introduction to the imperial court, was sent from Venice on 14 June 1559. Ludovico Dolce dedicated to Amulio, “most weighty Senator of the Republic”, his Tragedie printed in Venice by Gabriele Giolito de’ Ferrari in 1560, in a letter dated 11 January 1559. The draft of a letter from Alvise Cornaro to Cardinal Amulio is dated June 1565. Francesco Sansovino (1581, p. 276b) points out that Amulio, later a cardinal, composed a number of Epistole et Orationi latine et volgari, and wrote a treatise entitled De sublimi genere dicendi. Giammaria Mazzuchelli, in his Scrittori d’Italia (1753–63, vol. i, part ii, pp. 651, 655) also mentions a treatise entitled De vita activa et contemplativa, although it, too, was never published: we do not know to what extent it was penned by Amulio in person, but we should point out that the debate attended by some fifteen Venetians meeting in Trent in 1563, towards the end of the Council, devised by Paolo Paruta in his treatise entitled Della perfettione della vita politica libri tre, published in 1579, revolved precisely around the matter of whether the active or the contemplative life was to be preferred (Benzoni, 2003 and 2014). The Biblioteca Ambrosiana has an essay on episcopal authority addressed to Charles Borromeo and dated 26 July 1567, while Amulio also wrote the Costituzione published by Pius IV against the apostolic nuntios pushing for election to the cardinalate with the backing of letters from princes. Francesco Sansovino in his Venetia città nobilissima et singolare dated 1581 (p. 138) was to include Cardinal Amulio’s library, inherited by Luigi Malipiero, among those collections worthy of note for their books in Latin and Greek. Da Mula is another exemplary instance of the unique nature of the Venetian patrician class devoted, save for rare exceptions, to the governance of the state and to its diplomatic representation, and with a solid background in humanistic and university culture: another Vincenzo Quirini, Niccolò Tiepolo or Gasparo Contarini. It is common knowledge that the history of Europe is more or less built on the reports penned by these gentlemen from their respective postings.
Amulio was “sindaco inquisitore” in Dalmatia in 1535. From 1540 to 1542, following the signing of a peace treaty with the Turk, he was “conte” in Zara, a region devastated by war which he sought to repopulate by calling back the peasant population that had fled. He was “savio” of the tithes in 1542 and “savio di Terraferma” on more than one occasion. Appointed “capitano” in Brescia from 1544 to 1546, Cicogna lists numerous testimonials of friendship and success dating back to that period. But it was his appointment on 15 September 1551 to the role of Ordinary Ambassador to the Imperial Court, a posting which came into effect in 1552, that imparted a major boost to his career and experience as a politician. He moved from Augst to Brussels, his last despatch being dated 10 November 1554, the following one dated 14 December already bearing incoming Ambassador Federico Badoer’s signature. Amulio left Brussels in December 1554. He met Queen Mary Tudor, the consort of Philip II of Spain, and made her a gift of his Turkish steed, a gift very much appreciated by the monarch, receiving in return a gold chain which the Senate allowed him to keep (1553). It was at this time that he was knighted by Emperor Charles V, returning to Venice with him. Gustav Turba, who published his reports from the imperial court for the years 1552 to 1554 in the second volume of his Venetianische Depeschen von Kaiserhofe (Dispacci di Germania), Vienna 1895, recognised that Da Mula was one of the most talented orators of his day, that he was not a mere spokesman but an interpreter of the facts, whose interaction and potential impact on the future he could clearly see, and that his reports were superior in both language and style to those of his predecessors (Pastor, vii, pp. 597-598). He was “Riformatore dello Studio” in Padua in 1556, “Savio del Consiglio” in 1558 and “Podestà” of Verona that same year. But it cannot be a coincidence that to mark the peace between the Habsburgs and France enshrined in the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in early April 1559, putting an end to the Italian wars and carving Europe up between France and Spain, Venice – the sole power to maintain its independence and full sovereignty – instantly despatched Da Mula to Spain as Ambassador Extraordinary to the court of Philip II. The report that he sent back to the Senate contains an exceedingly perspicacious assessment of the monarch’s personality, of the extent of his human and military resources, and of the fate awaiting Europe. The career step that was to revolutionise his life, however, came when Venice appointed him to the post of Ambassador to the newly elected Pope Pius IV on 13 January 1560. In the speech of obedience that he delivered on 3 May 1560 – Oratio clarissimi Marci Antonii Amulii aequitis Pio quarto pontifici – following a tradition espoused by every incoming ambassador before the new Pope, he voiced his expectation that the Church would now pursue a new course. The speech was printed in both Latin and Italian to mark the Bentivoglio–Da Mula wedding in Venice in 1846. The reports that he sent to the Senate in the course of that year, 1560, are of the greatest interest in helping us to understand the new political course being pursued by Pius IV as he prepared to reopen the Council of Trent, the third session after the first two sessions of 1546–7 and 1551–2. The crisis that had taken hold of the Catholic Church since the Reformation had come to a head. The papacy of Paul IV Carafa was noteworthy for the leading role played in it by the Inquisition in its toughest form and for the stringent observance of the Index, compounded by a policy of brazen nepotism, and had made absolutely no contribution to any real renewal of the Church. So people’s expectations now turned to the new papacy of Pius IV de’ Medici, who had shown clear signs of wishing to set off down a true path of reform and renewal, and to reopen the Council.
Pius IV realised the benefit of having beside him a man of both humanistic culture, with extensive experience of the situation in Europe, and of religious piety, because that was Amulio’s other distinguishing feature which the Pope could clearly detect. It is of the utmost interest and relevance to note that the recently elected Pope and the Venetian Cardinal, who was in Rome in his capacity as Ambassador of the Republic of St. Mark, forged a uniquely close bond of friendship. Papal historians have pointed out that in September 1560 the Pope shared with his Venetian friend the idea of reforming the Curia, the papal court, by Christmas and debated with him at great length over the ways and means of winning back the lost areas of Europe to the Church.
No biography of Da Mula is complete without a mention of his friendship with the Augustinian Canon Girolameo Seripando. A child of Neapolitan humanism and a pupil of Egidio da Viterbo, who had him appointed to the post of “Secretarius” of the Order, Seripando was raised in an environment imbued with the Platonic culture that Egidio had absorbed from Marsilio Ficino. He was inclined to debate the truths of the faith with the methods of Platonism, lecturing in theology at Bologna University, he was appointed Vicar of the Order in 1532, and he held the post of Vicar General of the Order from 1539 to 1551 in the wake of Gabriele Dalla Volta, attending the early sessions of the Council of Trent in that capacity. He was Archbishop of Salerno from 1554 and played an important role in triggering the Counter-Reformation, both as a theologian and as a reformer, backing moves that were soon to match the initiatives of Pius IV and to lead to the Council’s reopening. Da Mula must have met Seripando in Brussels, where Seripando was posted as Legate of the Government of Naples to the Imperial Court in 1553 and where Da Mula was very much at home in his capacity as Ambassador of the Republic of St. Mark from 1551 to 1554. Pietro Paolo Vergerio met Da Mula in Göppingen in early January 1555, describing him as a man of immense intelligence and uniquely cultured, a man who never allowed his Catholic beliefs to be called into question yet who maintained an open attitude towards Protestantism and who had an entire collection of Protestant books in his library. Da Mula had actually known Vergerio for at least twenty years by then, because we know of a letter that Amulio addressed to him from Venice dated 15 July 1536. We can understand why Seripando must have been drawn to Da Mula from the 1550s. And Da Mula was fascinated, in his turn, by Seripando and by the wealth of gifts that God had granted him, the purity of his lifestyle and his practical experience of life (see his letter dated 20 May 1554). The two men also shared a particular interest in Reginald Pole, who had been defrocked from his position as Cardinal Legate by Paul IV but who was reinstated by Pius IV. Seripando was to publish Pole’s De consilio in 1561. Seripando and Da Mula’s relations had never been broken off. Da Mula sent a copy of his speech of obedience to the new Pope to Seripando who was then in his Diocese of Salerno in his capacity as Bishop of that city, and when Da Mula mentioned Seripando’s name in the course of a conversation with the Pope about the problems besetting reform, the Pope begged him to call Seripando to Rome, intending to seek his advice in connection with important issues concerning the Holy See. But while Da Mula undoubtedly contributed to Seripando’s summons to Rome, no less a role – in fact probably an even greater role – was played by the man who instantly became the Pope’s most trusted adviser in the field of ecclesiastical policy, Cardinal Giovanni Morone, whose person embodies the symbol of the “new course” revived by Pius IV. Morone considered Seripando to be a man capable of imparting a major new thrust to the reform, an opinion shared by Da Mula who was still speaking in his capacity as an Ambassador at the time. Jedin concludes, in connection with this tangle of personalities fated to forge the history of Pius IV’s papacy: «Morone is the man who drew the Pope’s attention to Seripando when he was seeking collaborators for his ‘new course’, but the project’s rapid conclusion in September 1560 was determined by Da Mula» (Seripando, p. 635). Seripando was immediately appointed a member of Roman Inquisition to introduce a softer voice into the chorus, and his raising to the purple was thought to be imminent because the Pope was planning to expand the College of Cardinals, an operation which occurred customarily after every papal election. In addition to Seripando and others, Da Mula himself and Bernardo Navagero who had shared the role of Ambassador of the Republic in various European capitals and who had been the Venetian Orator at the court of Paul IV, were also made cardinals on that occasion. The Senate consented to the former’s appointment but not to the latter’s, I suspect because it did not wish to lose the services of such an experienced politician. Da Mula was elected almost without his knowledge, so convinced was the Pope that Da Mula was a crucial pawn in his plans to impress a new course on the Church, an opinion shared by Seripando himself. It needs to be said also that the Pope had discovered a firm vocation for the priesthood in Da Mula. In any event, this time around Da Mula accepted the honour done him, although he knew full well that it would mean an irreparable rift with his homeland. And sure enough, the Senate banned his Da Mula’s from making any public display of rejoicing or from wearing the purple garment known as the ducal toga which patricians always wore on solemn occasions, also demanding of the new Ambassador, Girolamo Soranzo, that he break off all contact with the former Venetian citizen in Rome. Repeated attempts on the Pope’s part to gain a pardon for Da Mula proved vain, as indeed did the contribution of 2,000 golden ducats subsequently offered by the Cardinal in person as aid for the war in Cyprus, and curtly rejected.
The College of Cardinals was unexpectedly expanded on 26 February 1561 with the appointment of 18 cardinals, all of them receiving the purple ahead of the imminent Council. Seripando was immediately appointed “legatus a latere” for the Council due to convene in Trent on 15 November 1560. While Seripando was fulfilling his duties as Legate to the Council in Trent, Da Mula acted as his trusted agent in the Vatican, his figure emerging more clearly from the publication of the Council’s correspondence (Jedin, Seripando, note 302 on p. 856). Ordained a priest on 17 March 1561, he was made Bishop of Rieti on 23 November of the following year, against the opinion of the Council legates. Da Mula himself attended the Council of Trent from 1562 to 1563. He was a Cardinal of the papal hearth, always very close to the Pope who, on 18 August 1563, appointed him and others to select young men to attend a model seminary to be built in Rome in order to train a new generation of priests. And executing the Council’s deliberations on seminaries, he was the first to build a seminary in the capital of his diocese, the Seminario Reatino, in mid-1564, later leaving it 1,000 ducats in his will and enrolling twenty-six young men in it. He was appointed a member of the Inquisition and of the Signatura in 1563 and was also Governor of Bolsena for a certain period of time.
Two particular aspects of these years are worth mentioning inasmuch as they concern Da Mula’s cultural resources. A printing press in Rome to cater for the requirements of Pius IV’s new course was an initiative placed in the hands of Seripando and of Da Mula, Aldus Manutius’ son Paolo being summoned from Venice for the occasion. After Seripando died in Trent in 1563 while the Council was still in progress, Da Mula was charged in 1564 with assisting Manutius in establishing a printing press to publish a critical edition of the works of the Church Fathers. His appointment at the printing press went hand in hand with the presidency of a commission set up by Pius IV for the publication of works designed to compete with Protestant publications. On Alfonso Carafa’s death the following year, it was only natural that he should be elected to the post of Prefect of the Vatican Library, a post which he held until his death in 1572. A papal brief dated 15 August 1565 entrusted Da Mula with the task of creating a central archive in the Vatican.
The other aspect worth mentioning is that he was Overseer of Building Works for the Pope, being involved in particular in the decorative campaigns in the Hall of Kings and in the Casino of Pope Pius IV in the Vatican Palace. Girolamo Soranzo tells us in a report dated 14 June 1563 that “the Pope appointed him Overseer of all the buildings in the Palazzo, and most recently he has been appointed to the Inquisition and to the Signatura; which gives him ample opportunity to be frequently in the company of His Holiness who appears to rely greatly on him”. Vasari enlightens us as to this posting, explaining in his Life of Francesco Salviati that “Pope Paul IV having died, Pius was elected, likewise the Fourth of that name, who, much delighting in building, availed himself of Pirro Ligorio in matters of architecture; and his Holiness ordained that Cardinals Alessandro Farnese and Emulio should cause the Great Hall, called the Hall of Kings, to be finished by Danielle da Volterra, who had begun it. That very reverend Farnese did his utmost to obtain the half of that work for Francesco, and in consequence there was a long contention between Danielle and Francesco, particularly because Michelagnolo Buonarroti exerted himself in favor of Danielle, and for a time they arrived at no conclusion.” (p. 529). Thereafter, since neither one nor the other showed much interest, and Salviati having returned to Florence in the meantime, Da Mula assigned the stories in the hall to other artists, two to Taddeo Zuccaro, one to Livio da Forlì, another to Sammacchini, another to Girolamo Sermoneta and two to Giuseppe Porta. Vasari returns to the work in the Hall of Kings in his Life of Taddeo Zuccaro, telling us how, having himself refused to work in the hall, “Cardinal Emulio, immediately after receiving from the Pontiff the charge of having that Hall finished, divided the work, as has been related, among many young men, some of whom were already in Rome, and others were summoned from other places”. One of these, he explains, was Giuseppe Porta, a pupil of Salviati who had been living in Venice for some time. Da Mula commissioned Porta to produce two of the most important stories in the hall. At first Taddeo was not included in the assignment, and it was only later on, after he had pleaded first with Cardinale Farnese and then with Amulio himself, that he was awarded the commission for one of the less important stories. It so happened, however, that the Pope came in person to see the stories and much admired Taddeo’s work, ordering Amulio to assign him another story, although in the event it was left unfinished when the Pope died and the conclave began. Vasari suggests that Amulio showed a certain favouritism towards a painter who could now claim to be fully Venetian, and in fact Federico Zuccari complained of this in his gloss on Vasari’s Lives, claiming that his brother Taddeo had difficulty in obtaining the commission for the Hall of Kings “on account of the pure malice displayed by Emulio who wanted no valid competitors for his summons of Jusef Salviati from Venice” (Tosini, 2014, pp. 283-307). Apparently Da Mula played a major role in deciding which stories should be frescoed, at least after receiving his commission from the Pope, in other words from 1562, and it may be no mere coincidence that Da Mula had Porta paint the episode depicting Frederick Barbarossa submitting to Pope Alexander III in the Doge’s presence, with its sweeping view of St. Mark’s Square.
Cardinal Amulio was Overseer also of Pius IV’s Casino: “No long time passed before Cardinal Emulio, to whom the Pope had given the charge of the matter, commissioned many young men, to the end that the work might be finished quickly, to paint the little palace that is in the wood of the Belvedere, which was begun in the time of Pope Paul IV with a most beautiful fountain and many ancient statues as ornaments, after an architectural design by Pirro Ligorio”. The young men in question included Barocci, Leonardo Cungii, Durante del Nero, Santi di Tito and Federico Zuccari (Vasari, vi, 1967, p. 562). This must have been in 1563.
In 1565, with Pius IV’s pontificate now drawing to a close, the Venetian Ambassador Giacomo Soranzo reported to the Senate that Da Mula “shows no compunction in putting himself forward by all the means available to him, even performing those offices and dispensing that flattery with cardinals, ambassadors and every other kind of person, which he judges will lead him to the Papacy, on which he has set his sights most keenly, and thus he spends much time with the ministers of the Emperor, of King Philip, from whom he hopes to be able to obtain help and favour, as indeed with Card. Farnese to persuade him, himself being excluded, to designate him, to turn his favours towards him”. In the event, Da Mula, who enjoyed the favour of Pius IV’s former Secretary of State and nephew Cardinal Charles Borromeo, never obtained the papal tiara to which he aspired so greatly. It fell to Cardinal Michele Ghislieri of Alexandria, who took the name of Pope Pius V.
Obedient to the new Pope’s instructions, Da Mula left Rome in March 1566 to reside in his diocese of Rieti. Yet Pius V continued to hold him in some esteem, entrusting him with several posts. Thus he became a member of a commission on foreign policy and of another on agriculture, and a member of the Congregation for the Conversion of Infidels.
He died in Rome on 17 March 1572, still under the Senate’s ban. He was initially interred in the church of San Iacopo degli Spagnoli, then moved to Venice and buried in the Chapel of St. Luke in the church of San Giobbe. According to Cicogna, the sober plaque adorning his tomb to this day was added by his descendants, but not before 1761. In his will, drafted on 17 January 1566, Da Mula left most of his property for the establishment of a Compagnia del gran nome di Dio for assisting orphans and poor children, and of a college (now the Loggia Amulea) in the Prato della Valle as a residence for young members of the Da Mula and other Venetian patrician families between the ages of 16 and 20 studying humanities and law at Padua University. His foundation survived until the fall of the Venetian Republic. Destroyed by fire in the early 19th century, it was rebuilt for a different use in the Neogothic style and can still be seen to this day.

The Painting
Regarding the provenance of this painting, we know only that in the 19th century it was at Panshanger in Hertfordshire, the Cowper family residence and home to a major picture collection which included two Madonnas by Raphael known as The Small Cowper Madonna and The Large Cowper Madonna, Widener and Mellon, both now in the National Gallery in Washington, one by Fra Bartolommeo della Porta and others by Andrea del Sarto, purchased by George, the Third Earl, in the second half of the 18th century in the course of several lengthy visits to Florence. We know a good deal about this collection thanks to Waagen’s Treasures (vol. iii, 1854, Letter xxiii, pp. 7-17; vol. iv, 1857, Letter vi, pp. 344-346) and, for its portraits, to Mary Louisa Boyle’s Biographical Catalogue of the Portraits at Panshanger published in 1885. Mrs. Boyle tells us that alongside an important series of portraits by Van Dyck and Rembrandt’s Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne on Horseback, the collection included work by all of the great English portrait artists, from Lely and Reynolds to Lawrence. The only Venetian painting, aside from a portrait attributed to Titian depicting three young girls and known as the Archduchesses of Austria, was this Cardinal by Tintoretto. Hanging on the staircase in Panshanger, it was described in the collection as the “portrait of a Cardinal (said to be Cardinal Trento), full-length, in robes, seated, holding a paper — inscribed ‘Concilium Tridenti 1546′ — 73 in. by 401/2 in.”, as we are told by a scroll glued to the new canvas. It was purchased at the turn of the 19th century by Francis, Seventh Earl of Cowper who died in 1905, in time to be included in Mrs. Boyle’s catalogue. However, despite the volume containing a wealth of historical information on the English aristocrats whose likenesses adorned the walls of the residence, she discusses our portrait in unintelligible terms, arguing that it is a portrait by Tintoretto of Cardinal Girolamo Trento of Padua who was born in 1728 and died in 1784, joined the Jesuit Order in Bologna at the age of 18 and was raised to the purple thereafter. Unfortunately no such Cardinal has ever existed. Be that as it may, on the Seventh Earl of Cowper’s death the collection was dispersed.
It is no simple matter to discuss the chronology of Tintoretto’s portraits, although we are aided in our task by a series of works which are either dated or fairly accurately datable on the strength of internal evidence, and by the studies of Rodolfo Pallucchini and Paola Rossi. Further contributions have been forthcoming more recently to tie in with exhibitions such as the exhibition in Madrid, where Miguel Falomir wrote the catalogue entry on portraits, or the exhibition in Rome, where Luisa Attardi wrote the catalogue entry on portraits. I think that Tintoretto’s first dated portraits, both 1545, are a standing, full-figure portrait of Niccolò Doria, his hand on his sword, now in a private collection and rarely seen, and a Gentleman in Hampton Court on which the date is now no longer legible. A Portrait of a Gentleman Aged Twenty-Eight with a window on his left, his hand resting on a table cloth and a worn red curtain behind him, in the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, is dated 1548, while a Portrait of a Young Man Holding his Gloves in his Left Hand by a Window in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Besançon, though undated, can confidently be set alongside it. Other works datable on the strengh of internal evidence include a portrait of Procurator Niccolò Priuli in the Ca’ d’Oro, painted some time between Priuli’s appointment to that post in 1545 and his death in 1549, and the portraits of Procurator Jacopo Soranzo, in the Castello Sforzesco and the Gallerie in Venice, whom Tintoretto portrayed twice shortly before Soranzo’s death in 1551, both in the midst of his family and on his own. As we enter the 1550s we get the impression that Tintoretto developed a portrait format built on Titian’s example yet with an originality resting on a combination of elegance, costume and gesture that I would almost call Emilian. His Portrait of a Man now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York is dated 1551, while a Portrait of a Man Aged Thirty-Five, his hand resting on a table, his head turning to look over his shoulder, traditionally thought to be a likeness of Lorenzo Soranzo and now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, is dated 1553. The novelty here seems to lie in the need to impart a certain elegant nonchalance and an awareness of his environment to the sitter and palpable sentiment to his facial features. The way the figure thrusts himself forward, accompanying his movement with his arms yet countering it with the movement of his head as he looks backward in concern, is extremely fine. In this, Tintoretto revives a great tradition in portraiture stretching from Giorgione right into the middle of the 16th century thanks, in particular, to Titian. We can now engage in a comparison with the coeval portraiture of Titian and of Veronese. What we assert applies also to the so-called Portrait of a Woman in Mourning, an undated work now in the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden which I would suggest was also painted in 1553. The woman rests on a piece of furniture with the same nonchalance that we saw in the portrait of Soranzo, and here too her head is turned in the opposite direction from her bust. In close proximity with these two portraits, we find another two pictures equally concerned to display a special elegance in standing figures adopting a three-quarter pose and paying particular attention to their facial expressions: a Young Man with a High Collar in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona, his arm crooked and his hand resting on his flank, his facial expression verging on the brash as he leans at a table with a hint of indolence perfectly in keeping with the sophistication of his costume; and a Young Man in the Christ Church Picture Gallery in Oxford who sports a superb blue tunic edged with a fur collar, gloves in hand, his right arm on his flank and his hand facing outwards so that we see the palm. These are unquestionably followed by the two Doria portraits depicting Agostino and Niccolò Doria in the Museo Cerralbo and the Uffizi respectively, known through Van Dyck’s Italian notebook. I use the term “followed” because they reflect the same concern with elegance, in fact even fastidiousness in the case of Niccolò Doria, inspired more than ever by non-Venetian prototypes; while the style that began with the portraits just mentioned is successfully pursued in the Portrait of Agostino Doria in his blue tunic as he thrusts himself forward, his pose twisting slightly and his hand outstretched towards us. A fitting conclusion to this sequence is represented by the Portrait of a Gentleman with a Gold Chain in the Prado. Standing in full profile, his head and gaze turned towards us, he is described thus by Pallucchini: “The figure, isolated against a solid colour background, is shown as though caught by surprise, his head betraying a startled movement as it turns towards the observer, offering itself to the light which models its features in masterly fashion. His gaze is deep and unforgettable. It has the look of a portrait by Titian, yet unadorned and more modern” (Pallucchini, Rossi, 192, 1990, i, p. 80). Writing for the exhibition in Rome (2012, p. 172), Luisa Attardi also highlights the far from negligible detail that the figure does not occupy a central position in the painting. One might say that, at this point in his career, Tintoretto felt the need to allow light to play a central role in his work in order to explore a new psychological intensity, a development whose consequences we shall see as we move into the 1560s. In the meantime, the portrait stands well alongside a Portrait of a Man Aged Thirty in Armour, with three columns behind him and a window open giving onto the sea as a sailing boat hoves into view, now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, which deserves a mention on account of the spectacular skill that the artist displays in rendering the sheen of the sitter’s armour. This sequence takes us to 1561 and to a Portrait of Giovanni Paolo Cornaro the Antiquarian Aged Thirty-Two in the Museum voor Schone Kunsten in Ghent, with two columns on a tall base behind the sitter, one hand gripping (for want of a better word) the fur lapels of his cloak and the other resting on a sculpture from his collection, a work whose artistic quality is extolled by Paola Rossi in her study of Tintoretto’s portraits (1974, 1990). The date on the Portrait of Scipione Clusone in Arms with a Dwarf Page in Palazzo Spinola is incomplete but it is likely that 1560 should be completed as 1561 or thereabouts. The portrait of Paolo Cornaro the Antiquarian takes us into the 1560s and a new season in Tintoretto’s portraiture. I would suggest that this season is characterised by the disappearance of any interest in elegance or stylisation in depicting the sitter, who in fact acquires a certain stark, workaday quality as he is probed by the light revealing his blue eyes. The sequence is likely to continue with a number of portraits which, while undated, are rightly thought to have been painted between 1562 and 1565: a Portrait of Alvise Cornaro in the Galleria Palatina in Florence and an Old Man and a Boy, possibly a grandfather with his grandson, in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The two Cornaro portraits are very similar, and indeed I can see no reason why we should make any distinction between Alvise Cornaro and the Old Man and a Boy. The Portrait of Ottavio Strada Aged Eighteen in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is a later work, painted in 1567 when he visited Venice, and it seems to me to mark the start of another new path. I would like to be certain regarding the date of the Harewood House Portrait of Benedetto Soranzo with a View of a Mediterranean Gulf, allegedly depicting the port of Alexandria. At the end of the day, 1563 – the year in which Soranzo was appointed Captain of the Gulf, after his appointment as Captain of the Galleys in Beirut in 1556 and as Patron of the Arsenale in 1557 – is the date most likely to have spawned a portrait with such unique iconography. The painting reveals a superb mastery of technique in portraying the sitter’s red tunic with its shards of light and its ermine stole.
In the early 1560s, setting aside the pose of figures shown standing in profile against the backdrop of a wall, Tintoretto discovered the seated portrait, reaching down to just above or below the knee and the chair set at a three-quarter angle. This allowed him to probe his sitter in greater depth, to draw close to him, to surprise him from the side, the man’s gaze looking straight ahead, focusing rather on himself. In the Vienna painting it is the boy who gazes at us, a ploy designed to underscore his grandfather’s intense self-absorbed concentration.
We are fortunate in that the Da Mula painting may be said to be dated, in fairly broad terms, by the fact that Da Mula was raised to the purple in February 1561 and died in March 1572, and more accurately by the fact that he holds in his right hand a scroll bearing the words in italic script «Concilium / Tridenti 15…». When I first saw the picture, one could make out the year 1546, the date the first Council of Trent began but which could not tally in any way with the style of the painting, thus I instantly pointed out that the date should be questioned. Recent restoration has made it clear that only the first two figures of the year are original. The date must have been 1562 or 1563, the dates of the Council’s third and final session which opened in January 1562 and came to an end in December 1563 and which was a session in which Da Mula played a leading role in his capacity as a Cardinal appointed by Pius IV precisely with a view to the Council’s imminent reopening. Da Mula, however. does not appear to have been one of the papal legates to the Council on a par, for example, with Seripando, yet being close to the Pope he undoubtedly played a liaising role between the legates and the papal court. Fra’ Paolo Sarpi tells us in his History of the Council of Trent (London, 1649, p. 796) that he consulted Da Mula’s hand-written memoirs of the Council, although it has never been clear exactly what those memoirs were: possibly the opinions that Da Mula shared with the Pope in his capacity as a member of the Congregation of the Inquisition, or a collection of correspondence between Da Mula and Seripando relating to the Council. I am fortunate that the painting is so accurately dated because comparison would not have been easy, although the overview that we have just sketched will prove that, at the end of the day, it is totally plausible for the Da Mula portrait to be set alongside those of Alvise Cornaro and of the Old Man and a Boy. The problem is that the painting is unique for very many reasons, first and foremost for the sitter, one of the Pope’s advisers, a Cardinal of the papal hearth, and a Venetian, yet far removed from the circle of Tintorettor’s customary patrons which comprised chiefly military men and procurators. Secondly, for the pose: a man seated, shown full figure, with the platform on which he rests his feet shown diagonally like the rest of the figure. It is true that other sitters portrayed by Tintoretto are depicted seated in a three-quarter pose, precisely from this moment in his career on, but they are shown only down to their knees. Da Mula, on the other hand, is moving back into the room, moving away from us, shunning our company and, above all, forcing us to enter crosswise into the painting. The different angle of the chair, the full-figure depiction pouring (for want of a better word) the volume of the rocchetto into the forefront, and the artifice of the platform set at an angle are all deliberatly important features. The prelate seems to be intent on relating to someone else next to him, or in any case to those standing before him. There may be a hint of dialogue but, inevitably, from a certain distance. Titian’s models are important for Tintoretto’s portraiture as a whole, but in this case, while one is tempted to say that Tintoretto paid greater attention to them than usual, particularly to his Paul III and to his Beccadelli, I get the impression that his most important models were the portraits of Popes Julius II and Leo X. He could see the former in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, while impotant copies of the latter, which almost immediately found its way to Florence, were in general circulation. The figure seated on a chair had become the formula for papal portraits since Raphael’s day, and anyone who remembers Shearman’s essay will also recall how the invention came about: «The viewpoint is a little above the head, as we can see from the acorn-shaped knobs adorning the throne, and it is close up but oblique. The observer has the impression that he is standing before the Pope but slightly to one side, as though he were a member of the Pontiff’s familia or of the College of Cardinals; in any event, he is standing in a specific spot in space and has a subjective rapport with the sitter» (1979, ed. ital. 1983, p. 109). Our own Cardinal, on the other hand, is marking his distance from us and we are, if anything, slightly below him because he is seated on a platform. But it so happens that neither the two portraits by Raphael nor those by Titian are full-figure works, and in that connection I think that I can safely argue that this Da Mula may well mark a turning point in the iconographical history of portraits of popes and cardinals. Amulio asked Tintoretto to portray him according to what was an inhabitual register for him, a fitting register for a great Cardinal of the Church of Rome, if not for the Pontiff himself, and in that light it is interesting to recall what I said earlier, namely that his candidature to the papacy was to be put forward by Pius IV in person a couple of years later. In this portrait he is already Pope. But I have not yet satisfactorily explained why this portrait is also one of its kind. It is one of its kind because we had never yet seen in Tintoretto’s work such an extraordinary display of painterly technique, of skill in describing the play of gloss and matt reflections on the velvet mozzetta or in conjuring up the cascade of whites in the rocchetto. Below, where the tunic is embroidered and displays a hint of a border, the weave of the brushstrokes reaches levels never seen before (certainly not by me, at any rate) in Tintoretto’s art. Such things were to be seen, but in the new luministic swerve of the 1560s, in the work of Jacopo Bassano, in his rendering of St. Valentine Baptising Lucilla. And notice how, beneath that weave of silver strokes, the brush uses highlights to convey the scarlet tunic resting on the shoe. A detail like this, taken from this corner of the painting, is absolutely disconcerting. It is as though we were uncertain who painted the detail: Was it Titian? Was it Bassano? Was it Tintoretto? Is it really Tintoretto? In the mozzetta the brushwork becomes particularly vibrant. We have seen this manual energy in marking the folds of a curtain or of a senatorial gown before on countless occasions – how many senatorial gowns trimmed with ermine have we seen and forgotten? – but here the energy of the stroke, which appears elsewhere to be pursuing an excessively crude effect of rushing through the stages of painting in order to achieve a superficially dynamic appreciation of the image, is subjected to an attempt to convey the enormous, astonishing opaqueness of the fabric, of the various nuances of muted reds in the fabric, of the mozzetta’s thickness and colour, thanks to a weave of minute yet lively brush strokes. We are looking at an instance of painting before which Velázquez himself would have raised his hat. It is easy to see, on the left shoulder, how at one point Tintoretto turned his brush around, working the handle into the thickness of the paint to draw it out into parallel furrows. This close-up detail of the shoulder also allows us to appreciate the variety in the phases of painting and the value of the half-tones between the peaks of light, of the small, lively tears and the peak of muted, reddish dullness. As soon as we move away from the depiction of the Cardinal’s clothing and our eye lights on the arm of the chair, we see the now customary vibrant brushwork. I have seen Tintoretto paint the arms of such chairs on several occasions, with their velvet trim, their studs and their fringed border, but never with such freedom, adopting his unique form of shorthand to convey the studs, turning them into uneven circles, using his brush to depict the trim and the fringed broder with such freedom, with such impetus. It is all mesmerising, all spectacular, a triumph of painting. In my view, the prelate’s lean, austere features (we should remember that he was fifty-six at the time), his eyes staring straight in front of him, stupendously painted, texturally fresh even in the more shadowy areas, the blushes, accurately reflect what we have learnt about the man, Pope Pius IV’s trusted Cardinal, a partner in the struggle conducted by Seripando and Morone, and a leading player in the attempt to reform the Catholic Church, rising to the occasion of the final session of the Council of Trent. Given that this portrait was painted in 1562 or 1563, and given that, unless I am very much mistaken, it was only at the beginning of that decade that the seated portrait with the sitter placed on a diagonal chair entered Tintoretto’s repertoire, I wonder whether the Da Mula portrait may not in fact have triggered this renewal in Tintoretto’s approach to portraiture. The dates certainly tally, if Benedetto Soranzo was painted in 1563 and Cornaro and the Old Man and a Boy were painted some time between 1562 and1565. Moreover, Paola Rossi has dated Vincenzo Zeno Aged Seventy-Four in the Galleria Palatina, seated thus before a red curtain by a window, to some time between 1560 and 1565.
We do not know what triggered this search for such a virtuoso performance in paint. We know of no special relationship with Da Mula on Tintoretto’s part that might lie behind the commissioning of this portrait. Da Mula did not move to Rome until 1560, so he may well have tracked the development of Tintoretto’s career in Venice for almost twenty years. Ridolfi certainly does not come to our aid, mentioning only a “caprice with Muses with Apollo in their midst, playing the lyre” by Tintoretto in the Da Mula residence in San Vidal (1648, ed. von Hadeln, ii, p. 55). We also know that Amulio happened to be in Augsburg in 1552 in his capacity as Orator of the Republic at the same time as Titian was in the city, but we have no idea whether their paths even crossed. Subsequent events in Rome hint at a certain penchant for the work of Porta, but Porta was not a portrait artist. Thus when Da Mula travelled north to attend the Council, he may well have sought out the leading Venetian portrait artist of his day, and Tintoretto for his part is likely to have held in particular esteem a man who had so recently been raised to the purple. Da Mula must have asked for something very specific, and he may even have indicated his models (the ones we have mentioned in the course of this essay), to which I am tempted to add, in view of the considerable esteem in which he held Cardinal Reginald Pole, the very fine portrait of that Cardinal in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, formerly thought to be by Sebastiano del Piombo but in fact by the hand of Perin del Vaga, the only problem with that being that I have no idea where the portrait was in the years in which Amulio was in Rome.

Alessandro Ballarin

(1) Portrait of Cardinal Marcantonio Da Mula, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana

Jacopo Tintoretto

1519 Venice 1594

PORTRAIT OF CARDINAL MARCANTONIO DA MULA

c. 1562–3
Oil on canvas – 187 x 103 cm.

Literature

Marcantonio Da Mula
– Daniele Santarelli, Le relazioni diplomatiche tra la repubblica di Venezia e la Santa Sede negli anni del papato di Paolo IV. Prospettive di ricerca, in «Studi Storici Luigi Simeoni», 2005, pp. 47-69.
– Eugenio Albèri, Le relazioni degli ambasciatori veneti al Senato durante il secolo decimosesto raccolte, annotate ed edite da E. A., Series ii, Tome iv, Florence 1857, pp. 67-120.
– Eugenio Albèri, Le relazioni degli ambasciatori veneti al Senato durante il secolo decimosesto, raccolte, annotate ed edite da E. A., Series i, Tome iii, Florence 1853, pp. 393-408.
– Gino Benzoni, Zaccaria Dolfin, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, xl, Rome, 1991, pp. 576-588.
– Gino Benzoni, Paolo Paruta, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, lxxxi, Rome, 2014.
– Gino Benzoni, Trento 1563, una discussione tra Veneziani, in Per il Cinquecento religioso italiano […], ed. Sangalli, proceedings of a conference held in 2001, 2 vols., Rome, 2003, pp. 29-63.
– Giuseppe Cappelletti, Storia della Repubblica di Venezia dal suo principio sino a giorno d’oggi, opera originale del prete veneziano G. C., vol. viii, Venice, 1852, p. 368 et seq.
– Emanuele Antonio Cicogna, Saggio di bibliografia veneziana, Venice, 1847.
– Emmanuele Antonio Cicogna, Delle inscrizioni veneziane raccolte ed illustrate da Emmanuele Antonio Cicogna cittadino veneto, 6 vols. in 26 folders, Venice, 1824–53, i (1-4): 1824, ii (5-8): 1827; iii (9-12): 1830; iv (13-16): 1834; v (17-20): 1842; vi (21-26): 1853 [in folder 25: Correzioni e giunte ai volumi i. ii. iii. iv. v e al presente volume vi, in 26: Correzioni e giunte finali a tutti li sei volumi e Indice generale dell’ultimo volume] [facsimile reprint: Bologna, 1982–3]: iii, 1830, p. 55; iv, 1834, pp. 186, 452; v, 1842, p. 18 s. ; vi, 1853, pp. 531, 611-629, 737-744.
– Michel De Certeau, Carlo Borromeo, santo, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, xx, Rome, 1977, pp. 260-269.
– Stephan Ehses, Concilium Tridentinum: diariorum, actorum, epistolarum, tractatuum nova collectio, vols. iv, v, viii, ix, Friburgi Brisgoviae, 1904–24 (Da Mula’s reports on the council are published here).
– Massimo Firpo, Giovanni Morone, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, lxxvii, Rome, 1986, pp. 66-74.
– Massimo Firpo, Fabrizio Biferali, “Navicula Petri”. L’arte dei papi nel Cinquecento, Rome-Bari, 2009.
– Massimo Firpo, ed., Relazioni di ambasciatori veneti al Senato, ii (Germany 1506–54), Turin, 1970, p. xxiv.
– Giuseppe Gullino, Marcantonio Da Mula, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, xxxii, Rome, 1986, pp. 383-387.
– Hubert Jedin, Girolamo Seripando, Sein Leben und Denken in Geisteskampf drs 16. Jahrhunderts, Würzburg, 1937, Italian edition La sua vita e il suo pensiero nel fermento spirituale del XVI secolo, ed. Giulio Colombi and Angelo Maria Vitale, “Storia, 73”, 2 vols., Brescia, 2016;
– Hubert Jedin, Geschichte des Konzils von Trient, Band i-iv, Freiburg im Br., 1949–75, Italian edition, Storia del Concilio di Trento, Brescia, 1972–9, vol. iv, 1975, Italian edition revised by G. Alberigo, 1979.
– Giammaria Mazzuchelli, Gli Scrittori d’Italia, cioè Notizie storiche, e critiche intorno alla vita, e agli scritti dei letterati italiani, Brescia, 1753–63, vol. i, part ii, pp. 651, 655.
– Gaetano Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni specialmente intorno ai principali santi, beati, martiri, padri[…], vols. 103, Venice, 1840-61 (the Indice generale alfabetico delle materie del Dizionario, in 6 vols., is dated 1878).
– A. Olivieri, Riforma ed eresia a Vicenza nel Cinquecento, Rome, 1992.
– Sforza Pallavicino, Storia del Concilio di Trento, scritta dal P. Sforza Pallavicino, della Compagnia di Giesù […],Rome, 1656-7.
– Pio Paschini, Come fu cardinale Marco Antonio Da Mula detto l’Amulio, in «Rivista della storia della Chiesa in Italia», xi, 1957, pp. 393-406.
– Pio Pascini, Tre illustri prelati del Rinascimento. Ermolao Barbaro, A. Castellesi, Giovanni Grimani, Rome, 1957, pp. 153-166, 182.
– Ludovico Barone von Pastor, Storia dei papi dalla fine del Medio Evo, compilata col sussidio dellArchivio segreto pontificio e di molti altri Archivii, VII. Storia dei papi nel periodo della riforma e restaurazione cattolica. Pio IV (1559-65), Italian version by Mons. Prof. Angelo Mercati, Nuova ristampa, Rome, 1928, pp. 628 et seq. VIII. Storia dei papi nel periodo della riforma e restaurazione cattolica. Pio V (1566-72), Rome, 1929.
– D. E. Queller, The Develpment of Ambassadorial Relazioni, in Renaissance Venice, ed. J. R. Hale, London, 1973, p. 181.
– Flavio Rurale, Pio IV, papa, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, lxxxiii, Rome, 2015, pp. 808-814.
– Francesco Sansovino, Venetia città nobilissima, et singolare, descritta in xiiii. Libri da M. Francesco Sansovino, . Cronico particolare delle cose fatte da i veneti dal principio della città fino all’anno 1581, Giacomo Sansovino, Venice, 1581.
– Daniele Santarelli, Bernardo Navagero, in Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, lxxviii, Rome, 2013.
– Fra Paolo Sarpi, Istoria del Concilio di Trento, London, 1619 (under the anagrammatic pseudonym Pietro Soave Polano [Paolo Sarpi Veneto]).
– Ignaz Stich, Gustav Turba, Alfred Francis Pribram, Venetianische Depeschen von Kaiserhofe (Dispacci di Germania) herausgegeben von der historischen Commission der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 3 vols., Vienna, 1889-95, i, part 2 (1892), pp. 527-664.
– G. F. Zanardi, De laudibus illustrissimi et reverendissimi d. Marci Antonii Amulii S. R. E. Cardinalis […], Patavii, 1567.

Jacopo Tintoretto
– Luisa Attardi, in Tintoretto, catalogue of the exhibition curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, Rome, Scuderie del Quirinale, 25 February–10 June 2012, Geneva-Milan, 1992.
– Angela Böck, Die Sala Regia im Vatikan als Biespiel der Selbstdarstellung des Papsttums in der zweiten Hälfte des 16. Jahrhunderts, Hildesheim, Zurich, New York, 1997, p. 125-126.
– Mary Louisa Boyle, Biographical Catalogue of the Portraits at Panshanger the Seat of Earl Cowper, K. G., London, 1885.
– Alessio Celletti, Autorappresentazione papale ed età della Riforma: gli affreschi della Sala Regia vaticana, “Eurostudium January–March 2013”.
– Berenice Davidson, The Decoration of the Sala Regia under Pope Paul III, in «The Art Bulletin», lviii, 1976, pp. 395-423.
– Jan L. de Jong, The painted decoration of the Sala Regia in the Vatican: intention and reception, in T. Weddingen, A. Roth, B. Kempers, ed., Functions and Decorations: Art and Ritual at the Vatican Palace in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Turnhout, 2004.
– Jan L. de Jong, Propagating Venise’s finest hour: Vicissitudes of Giuseppe Porta Salviati’s painting of Pope Alexander III and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in the Sala Regia at Vatican Palace, in Annette De Vries, ed., Cultural Mediators. Artists and Writers in the Crossroads of Tradition, Innovation and Reception in the Low Countries and Italy, vol. xxxi, Groningen, 2008.
– Miguel Falomir, ed., Tintoretto, exhibition catalogue, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2007.
– Caterina Furlan, Patrizia Tosini, ed., I cardinali della Serenissima. Arte committenza tra Venezia e Roma (1523–1605), Cinisello Balsamo, 2014.
– Rodolfo Pallucchini, Paola Rossi, Le opere sacre e profane, 2 vols., Milan, 1982.
– Loren Partridge, Randolph Starn, Triumphalism and the Sala Regia in the Vatican, in “All the World’s a Stage. Art and Pageantry in the Renaissance and Baroque, Papers in Art History from the Pennsylvania State University, vol. vi/1, Triumphal Celebrations and the Ritual of Statecraft, Pennsylvania, 1990, pp. 22-81.
– Carlo Ridolfi, Le Maraviglie dell’Arte, overo le Vite de gl’illustri pittori veneti, e dello Stato. Ove sono raccolte le Opere Insigni, i costumi, & i ritratti loro. Con la narratione delle Historie, delle Favole, e delle Moralità da quelli dipinte. Descritte dal Cavalier Carlo Ridolfi. Con tre Tavole copiose de’ Nomi de’ Pittori antichi, e moderni, e delle cose Notabili. Parte Prima […]. Parte Seconda […], In Venetia, presso Gio. Battista Sgava, 1648 [edition ed. Detlev von Hadeln, 2 vols., Berlin, 1914–24; facsimile reprint of the von Hadeln edition, “Fonti per la storia dell’arte”, 2 vols., Rome, 1965].
– Paola Rossi, Jacopo Tintoretto, “L’opera completa”, ed. Rodolfo Pallucchini and Paola Rossi, volume i I Ritratti, with an introduction by Rodolfo Pallucchini, Venice, 1974.
– Paola Rossi, ed., Jacopo Tintoretto. Ritratti, exhibition catalogue, Venice, Gallerie dell’Accademia, 25 March–10 July 1994, subsequently Vienna, 31 July–30 October 1994, Milan, 1994.
– Vittorio Sgarbi, ed., Tintoretto, exhibition catalogue, Rome, Scuderie del Quirinale, 25 February–10 June 2012, Geneva-Milan, 1992.
– Patrizia Tosini, Impronte veneziane: le committenze artistiche dei cardinali della Serenissima a Roma, in I cardinali della Serenissima. Arte committenza tra Venezia e Roma (1523–1605), ed. Caterina Furlan and Patrizia Tosini, Cinisello Balsamo, 2014, pp. 283-307.
– Giorgio Vasari, a) Le vite de’ piu eccellenti pittori, scultori, et architettori, Scritte, e di nuovo Ampliate da M. Giorgio Vasari Pit. et Archit. Aretino, co’ ritratti loro Et con le nuove vite dal 1550 insino al 1567 Con Tavole copiosissime De’ nomi, Dell’opere, E de’ luoghi ov’elle sono; b) Le Vite de’ piu eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori, Scritte da M. Giorgio Vasari pittore et architetto aretino, Di Nuovo dal Medesimo Riviste Et Ampliate con i ritratti loro Et con l’aggiunta delle Vite de’ vivi, & de’ morti Dall’anno 1550. infino al 1567, Florence, Giunti, 3 vols., 1568 [2nd ed. (for a discussion of the two frontispieces in the same edition see the Premessa by Rosanna Bettarini in the first volume, serie Testo, of the reprint mentioned below, pp. xx-xxx); 1st ed.: 2 vols., Florence, 1550, q. v.] [edition ed. Gaetano Milanesi, Le Vite de’ più eccellenti Pittori Scultori ed Architettori scritte da Giorgio Vasari Pittore Aretino, con nuove annotazioni e commenti di Gaetano Milanesi, 9 vols., Florence, 1878–85 (last reprint 1906); edition ed. Bettarini, Barocchi: Le vite de’ più eccellenti pittori scultori e architettori nelle redazioni del 1550 e 1568, text ed. Rosanna Bettarini, consolidated historical commentaries ed. Paola Barocchi, 6 vols. of text, 3 of commentary and 2 index vols. published so far, Florence, 1966-97].
– Gustav Friederich Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain: being an account of the chief collections of paintings, drawings, sculptures, illuminated mss., &c. &c., 3 vols., London, 1854 [facsimile reprint ed. Ronald W. Lightbown, London, 1970; other facsimile reprint ed. Susan Pearce, in Museums and their development: the European tradition 1700–1900, 8 vols., London, 1999].
– Gustav Friedrich Waagen, Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain: being an account of more than forty collections of paintings, drawings, sculptures, illuminated mss., c. c., visited in 1854 and 1856, and now for the first time described by Dr. Waagen, Director of the Royal Gallery of Pictures in Berlin, forming a supplemental volume to the Treasures of Art in Great Britain, three volumes, London, 1857 [facsimile reprint ed. Ronald W. Lightbown: London, 1970].


The Cardinal
Marcantonio Da Mula, Latinised to give Amulius, proved to be one of the most interesting figures of the 16th century. We have had to rely for his physical appearance so far on an anonymous 16th century likeness hanging in the Vatican Library (1), and for his biography on a series of anecdotes and tidbits published by Emanuele Cicogna in the 19th century in his Inscrizioni Veneziane and now in the appropriate entry in the Dizionario biografico degli Italiani edited by Giuseppe Gullino (1986). This is altogether unsatisfactory. As Pastor said a century ago, the man deserves monographic treatment on the strength of his literary relations alone, but we would add also for his political and artistic ties. The inscription on the portrait reads M. ANT. AMULIUS. CARDINAL. SEDIS APOSTOLICAE. BIBLIOTHECARIUS. IV., and it is this that has made it possible to identify the sitter. Marcantonio da Mula was raised to the purple by Pope Pius IV at the age of fifty-one in the consistory session of February 1561. He had come to Rome as the Ambassador of the Republic of St. Mark to the Holy See on 13 January 1560, shortly after Giovanni Angelo de’ Medici from Milan had been elected to the papacy under the name of Pius IV. Da Mula came from a career in government and diplomacy after an initial, strong grounding in the tradition of Venetian humanism fuelled by Classical culture, both Greek and Latin, and by philosophical and legal studies leading to a degree and the title of Doctor in Artibus from the University of Padua. He corresponded, in the course of his career, with Girolamo Muzio, Pier Paolo Vergerio, Giangiorgio Trissino, Bernardo Tasso, Pietro Bembo, Pietro Aretino, Francesco Sansovino and Alvise Cornaro, and later with Girolamo Seripando. Da Mula’s letters to Gian Giorgio Trissino were published by Piovene in Vicenza in 1878. We can detect a special friendship with Trissino: in 1539 the two men debated the theme of grace and free will (Olivieri, 1992, pp. 263 et seq.), Aretino, writing from Venice in September 1545, urged Amulio to convey his greetings to Trissino, and Trissino named him as an executor in his will. Other letters are to be found in the Inscrizioni veneziane of Emanuele Antonio Cicogna (1824–53, vi (1853), pp. 611-629, 737-744, docs. 8-10). A letter to Aretino, «divine poet and very dear friend», is included in the Lettere scritte al signor Pietro Aretino da molti Signori, Venice, Marcolini, 1552. Bernardo Tasso addressed two letters to Da Mula before he was appointed cardinal, the second of which, asking him for an introduction to the imperial court, was sent from Venice on 14 June 1559. Ludovico Dolce dedicated to Amulio, “most weighty Senator of the Republic”, his Tragedie printed in Venice by Gabriele Giolito de’ Ferrari in 1560, in a letter dated 11 January 1559. The draft of a letter from Alvise Cornaro to Cardinal Amulio is dated June 1565. Francesco Sansovino (1581, p. 276b) points out that Amulio, later a cardinal, composed a number of Epistole et Orationi latine et volgari, and wrote a treatise entitled De sublimi genere dicendi. Giammaria Mazzuchelli, in his Scrittori d’Italia (1753–63, vol. i, part ii, pp. 651, 655) also mentions a treatise entitled De vita activa et contemplativa, although it, too, was never published: we do not know to what extent it was penned by Amulio in person, but we should point out that the debate attended by some fifteen Venetians meeting in Trent in 1563, towards the end of the Council, devised by Paolo Paruta in his treatise entitled Della perfettione della vita politica libri tre, published in 1579, revolved precisely around the matter of whether the active or the contemplative life was to be preferred (Benzoni, 2003 and 2014). The Biblioteca Ambrosiana has an essay on episcopal authority addressed to Charles Borromeo and dated 26 July 1567, while Amulio also wrote the Costituzione published by Pius IV against the apostolic nuntios pushing for election to the cardinalate with the backing of letters from princes. Francesco Sansovino in his Venetia città nobilissima et singolare dated 1581 (p. 138) was to include Cardinal Amulio’s library, inherited by Luigi Malipiero, among those collections worthy of note for their books in Latin and Greek. Da Mula is another exemplary instance of the unique nature of the Venetian patrician class devoted, save for rare exceptions, to the governance of the state and to its diplomatic representation, and with a solid background in humanistic and university culture: another Vincenzo Quirini, Niccolò Tiepolo or Gasparo Contarini. It is common knowledge that the history of Europe is more or less built on the reports penned by these gentlemen from their respective postings.
Amulio was “sindaco inquisitore” in Dalmatia in 1535. From 1540 to 1542, following the signing of a peace treaty with the Turk, he was “conte” in Zara, a region devastated by war which he sought to repopulate by calling back the peasant population that had fled. He was “savio” of the tithes in 1542 and “savio di Terraferma” on more than one occasion. Appointed “capitano” in Brescia from 1544 to 1546, Cicogna lists numerous testimonials of friendship and success dating back to that period. But it was his appointment on 15 September 1551 to the role of Ordinary Ambassador to the Imperial Court, a posting which came into effect in 1552, that imparted a major boost to his career and experience as a politician. He moved from Augst to Brussels, his last despatch being dated 10 November 1554, the following one dated 14 December already bearing incoming Ambassador Federico Badoer’s signature. Amulio left Brussels in December 1554. He met Queen Mary Tudor, the consort of Philip II of Spain, and made her a gift of his Turkish steed, a gift very much appreciated by the monarch, receiving in return a gold chain which the Senate allowed him to keep (1553). It was at this time that he was knighted by Emperor Charles V, returning to Venice with him. Gustav Turba, who published his reports from the imperial court for the years 1552 to 1554 in the second volume of his Venetianische Depeschen von Kaiserhofe (Dispacci di Germania), Vienna 1895, recognised that Da Mula was one of the most talented orators of his day, that he was not a mere spokesman but an interpreter of the facts, whose interaction and potential impact on the future he could clearly see, and that his reports were superior in both language and style to those of his predecessors (Pastor, vii, pp. 597-598). He was “Riformatore dello Studio” in Padua in 1556, “Savio del Consiglio” in 1558 and “Podestà” of Verona that same year. But it cannot be a coincidence that to mark the peace between the Habsburgs and France enshrined in the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in early April 1559, putting an end to the Italian wars and carving Europe up between France and Spain, Venice – the sole power to maintain its independence and full sovereignty – instantly despatched Da Mula to Spain as Ambassador Extraordinary to the court of Philip II. The report that he sent back to the Senate contains an exceedingly perspicacious assessment of the monarch’s personality, of the extent of his human and military resources, and of the fate awaiting Europe. The career step that was to revolutionise his life, however, came when Venice appointed him to the post of Ambassador to the newly elected Pope Pius IV on 13 January 1560. In the speech of obedience that he delivered on 3 May 1560 – Oratio clarissimi Marci Antonii Amulii aequitis Pio quarto pontifici – following a tradition espoused by every incoming ambassador before the new Pope, he voiced his expectation that the Church would now pursue a new course. The speech was printed in both Latin and Italian to mark the Bentivoglio–Da Mula wedding in Venice in 1846. The reports that he sent to the Senate in the course of that year, 1560, are of the greatest interest in helping us to understand the new political course being pursued by Pius IV as he prepared to reopen the Council of Trent, the third session after the first two sessions of 1546–7 and 1551–2. The crisis that had taken hold of the Catholic Church since the Reformation had come to a head. The papacy of Paul IV Carafa was noteworthy for the leading role played in it by the Inquisition in its toughest form and for the stringent observance of the Index, compounded by a policy of brazen nepotism, and had made absolutely no contribution to any real renewal of the Church. So people’s expectations now turned to the new papacy of Pius IV de’ Medici, who had shown clear signs of wishing to set off down a true path of reform and renewal, and to reopen the Council.
Pius IV realised the benefit of having beside him a man of both humanistic culture, with extensive experience of the situation in Europe, and of religious piety, because that was Amulio’s other distinguishing feature which the Pope could clearly detect. It is of the utmost interest and relevance to note that the recently elected Pope and the Venetian Cardinal, who was in Rome in his capacity as Ambassador of the Republic of St. Mark, forged a uniquely close bond of friendship. Papal historians have pointed out that in September 1560 the Pope shared with his Venetian friend the idea of reforming the Curia, the papal court, by Christmas and debated with him at great length over the ways and means of winning back the lost areas of Europe to the Church.
No biography of Da Mula is complete without a mention of his friendship with the Augustinian Canon Girolameo Seripando. A child of Neapolitan humanism and a pupil of Egidio da Viterbo, who had him appointed to the post of “Secretarius” of the Order, Seripando was raised in an environment imbued with the Platonic culture that Egidio had absorbed from Marsilio Ficino. He was inclined to debate the truths of the faith with the methods of Platonism, lecturing in theology at Bologna University, he was appointed Vicar of the Order in 1532, and he held the post of Vicar General of the Order from 1539 to 1551 in the wake of Gabriele Dalla Volta, attending the early sessions of the Council of Trent in that capacity. He was Archbishop of Salerno from 1554 and played an important role in triggering the Counter-Reformation, both as a theologian and as a reformer, backing moves that were soon to match the initiatives of Pius IV and to lead to the Council’s reopening. Da Mula must have met Seripando in Brussels, where Seripando was posted as Legate of the Government of Naples to the Imperial Court in 1553 and where Da Mula was very much at home in his capacity as Ambassador of the Republic of St. Mark from 1551 to 1554. Pietro Paolo Vergerio met Da Mula in Göppingen in early January 1555, describing him as a man of immense intelligence and uniquely cultured, a man who never allowed his Catholic beliefs to be called into question yet who maintained an open attitude towards Protestantism and who had an entire collection of Protestant books in his library. Da Mula had actually known Vergerio for at least twenty years by then, because we know of a letter that Amulio addressed to him from Venice dated 15 July 1536. We can understand why Seripando must have been drawn to Da Mula from the 1550s. And Da Mula was fascinated, in his turn, by Seripando and by the wealth of gifts that God had granted him, the purity of his lifestyle and his practical experience of life (see his letter dated 20 May 1554). The two men also shared a particular interest in Reginald Pole, who had been defrocked from his position as Cardinal Legate by Paul IV but who was reinstated by Pius IV. Seripando was to publish Pole’s De consilio in 1561. Seripando and Da Mula’s relations had never been broken off. Da Mula sent a copy of his speech of obedience to the new Pope to Seripando who was then in his Diocese of Salerno in his capacity as Bishop of that city, and when Da Mula mentioned Seripando’s name in the course of a conversation with the Pope about the problems besetting reform, the Pope begged him to call Seripando to Rome, intending to seek his advice in connection with important issues concerning the Holy See. But while Da Mula undoubtedly contributed to Seripando’s summons to Rome, no less a role – in fact probably an even greater role – was played by the man who instantly became the Pope’s most trusted adviser in the field of ecclesiastical policy, Cardinal Giovanni Morone, whose person embodies the symbol of the “new course” revived by Pius IV. Morone considered Seripando to be a man capable of imparting a major new thrust to the reform, an opinion shared by Da Mula who was still speaking in his capacity as an Ambassador at the time. Jedin concludes, in connection with this tangle of personalities fated to forge the history of Pius IV’s papacy: «Morone is the man who drew the Pope’s attention to Seripando when he was seeking collaborators for his ‘new course’, but the project’s rapid conclusion in September 1560 was determined by Da Mula» (Seripando, p. 635). Seripando was immediately appointed a member of Roman Inquisition to introduce a softer voice into the chorus, and his raising to the purple was thought to be imminent because the Pope was planning to expand the College of Cardinals, an operation which occurred customarily after every papal election. In addition to Seripando and others, Da Mula himself and Bernardo Navagero who had shared the role of Ambassador of the Republic in various European capitals and who had been the Venetian Orator at the court of Paul IV, were also made cardinals on that occasion. The Senate consented to the former’s appointment but not to the latter’s, I suspect because it did not wish to lose the services of such an experienced politician. Da Mula was elected almost without his knowledge, so convinced was the Pope that Da Mula was a crucial pawn in his plans to impress a new course on the Church, an opinion shared by Seripando himself. It needs to be said also that the Pope had discovered a firm vocation for the priesthood in Da Mula. In any event, this time around Da Mula accepted the honour done him, although he knew full well that it would mean an irreparable rift with his homeland. And sure enough, the Senate banned his Da Mula’s from making any public display of rejoicing or from wearing the purple garment known as the ducal toga which patricians always wore on solemn occasions, also demanding of the new Ambassador, Girolamo Soranzo, that he break off all contact with the former Venetian citizen in Rome. Repeated attempts on the Pope’s part to gain a pardon for Da Mula proved vain, as indeed did the contribution of 2,000 golden ducats subsequently offered by the Cardinal in person as aid for the war in Cyprus, and curtly rejected.
The College of Cardinals was unexpectedly expanded on 26 February 1561 with the appointment of 18 cardinals, all of them receiving the purple ahead of the imminent Council. Seripando was immediately appointed “legatus a latere” for the Council due to convene in Trent on 15 November 1560. While Seripando was fulfilling his duties as Legate to the Council in Trent, Da Mula acted as his trusted agent in the Vatican, his figure emerging more clearly from the publication of the Council’s correspondence (Jedin, Seripando, note 302 on p. 856). Ordained a priest on 17 March 1561, he was made Bishop of Rieti on 23 November of the following year, against the opinion of the Council legates. Da Mula himself attended the Council of Trent from 1562 to 1563. He was a Cardinal of the papal hearth, always very close to the Pope who, on 18 August 1563, appointed him and others to select young men to attend a model seminary to be built in Rome in order to train a new generation of priests. And executing the Council’s deliberations on seminaries, he was the first to build a seminary in the capital of his diocese, the Seminario Reatino, in mid-1564, later leaving it 1,000 ducats in his will and enrolling twenty-six young men in it. He was appointed a member of the Inquisition and of the Signatura in 1563 and was also Governor of Bolsena for a certain period of time.
Two particular aspects of these years are worth mentioning inasmuch as they concern Da Mula’s cultural resources. A printing press in Rome to cater for the requirements of Pius IV’s new course was an initiative placed in the hands of Seripando and of Da Mula, Aldus Manutius’ son Paolo being summoned from Venice for the occasion. After Seripando died in Trent in 1563 while the Council was still in progress, Da Mula was charged in 1564 with assisting Manutius in establishing a printing press to publish a critical edition of the works of the Church Fathers. His appointment at the printing press went hand in hand with the presidency of a commission set up by Pius IV for the publication of works designed to compete with Protestant publications. On Alfonso Carafa’s death the following year, it was only natural that he should be elected to the post of Prefect of the Vatican Library, a post which he held until his death in 1572. A papal brief dated 15 August 1565 entrusted Da Mula with the task of creating a central archive in the Vatican.
The other aspect worth mentioning is that he was Overseer of Building Works for the Pope, being involved in particular in the decorative campaigns in the Hall of Kings and in the Casino of Pope Pius IV in the Vatican Palace. Girolamo Soranzo tells us in a report dated 14 June 1563 that “the Pope appointed him Overseer of all the buildings in the Palazzo, and most recently he has been appointed to the Inquisition and to the Signatura; which gives him ample opportunity to be frequently in the company of His Holiness who appears to rely greatly on him”. Vasari enlightens us as to this posting, explaining in his Life of Francesco Salviati that “Pope Paul IV having died, Pius was elected, likewise the Fourth of that name, who, much delighting in building, availed himself of Pirro Ligorio in matters of architecture; and his Holiness ordained that Cardinals Alessandro Farnese and Emulio should cause the Great Hall, called the Hall of Kings, to be finished by Danielle da Volterra, who had begun it. That very reverend Farnese did his utmost to obtain the half of that work for Francesco, and in consequence there was a long contention between Danielle and Francesco, particularly because Michelagnolo Buonarroti exerted himself in favor of Danielle, and for a time they arrived at no conclusion.” (p. 529). Thereafter, since neither one nor the other showed much interest, and Salviati having returned to Florence in the meantime, Da Mula assigned the stories in the hall to other artists, two to Taddeo Zuccaro, one to Livio da Forlì, another to Sammacchini, another to Girolamo Sermoneta and two to Giuseppe Porta. Vasari returns to the work in the Hall of Kings in his Life of Taddeo Zuccaro, telling us how, having himself refused to work in the hall, “Cardinal Emulio, immediately after receiving from the Pontiff the charge of having that Hall finished, divided the work, as has been related, among many young men, some of whom were already in Rome, and others were summoned from other places”. One of these, he explains, was Giuseppe Porta, a pupil of Salviati who had been living in Venice for some time. Da Mula commissioned Porta to produce two of the most important stories in the hall. At first Taddeo was not included in the assignment, and it was only later on, after he had pleaded first with Cardinale Farnese and then with Amulio himself, that he was awarded the commission for one of the less important stories. It so happened, however, that the Pope came in person to see the stories and much admired Taddeo’s work, ordering Amulio to assign him another story, although in the event it was left unfinished when the Pope died and the conclave began. Vasari suggests that Amulio showed a certain favouritism towards a painter who could now claim to be fully Venetian, and in fact Federico Zuccari complained of this in his gloss on Vasari’s Lives, claiming that his brother Taddeo had difficulty in obtaining the commission for the Hall of Kings “on account of the pure malice displayed by Emulio who wanted no valid competitors for his summons of Jusef Salviati from Venice” (Tosini, 2014, pp. 283-307). Apparently Da Mula played a major role in deciding which stories should be frescoed, at least after receiving his commission from the Pope, in other words from 1562, and it may be no mere coincidence that Da Mula had Porta paint the episode depicting Frederick Barbarossa submitting to Pope Alexander III in the Doge’s presence, with its sweeping view of St. Mark’s Square.
Cardinal Amulio was Overseer also of Pius IV’s Casino: “No long time passed before Cardinal Emulio, to whom the Pope had given the charge of the matter, commissioned many young men, to the end that the work might be finished quickly, to paint the little palace that is in the wood of the Belvedere, which was begun in the time of Pope Paul IV with a most beautiful fountain and many ancient statues as ornaments, after an architectural design by Pirro Ligorio”. The young men in question included Barocci, Leonardo Cungii, Durante del Nero, Santi di Tito and Federico Zuccari (Vasari, vi, 1967, p. 562). This must have been in 1563.
In 1565, with Pius IV’s pontificate now drawing to a close, the Venetian Ambassador Giacomo Soranzo reported to the Senate that Da Mula “shows no compunction in putting himself forward by all the means available to him, even performing those offices and dispensing that flattery with cardinals, ambassadors and every other kind of person, which he judges will lead him to the Papacy, on which he has set his sights most keenly, and thus he spends much time with the ministers of the Emperor, of King Philip, from whom he hopes to be able to obtain help and favour, as indeed with Card. Farnese to persuade him, himself being excluded, to designate him, to turn his favours towards him”. In the event, Da Mula, who enjoyed the favour of Pius IV’s former Secretary of State and nephew Cardinal Charles Borromeo, never obtained the papal tiara to which he aspired so greatly. It fell to Cardinal Michele Ghislieri of Alexandria, who took the name of Pope Pius V.
Obedient to the new Pope’s instructions, Da Mula left Rome in March 1566 to reside in his diocese of Rieti. Yet Pius V continued to hold him in some esteem, entrusting him with several posts. Thus he became a member of a commission on foreign policy and of another on agriculture, and a member of the Congregation for the Conversion of Infidels.
He died in Rome on 17 March 1572, still under the Senate’s ban. He was initially interred in the church of San Iacopo degli Spagnoli, then moved to Venice and buried in the Chapel of St. Luke in the church of San Giobbe. According to Cicogna, the sober plaque adorning his tomb to this day was added by his descendants, but not before 1761. In his will, drafted on 17 January 1566, Da Mula left most of his property for the establishment of a Compagnia del gran nome di Dio for assisting orphans and poor children, and of a college (now the Loggia Amulea) in the Prato della Valle as a residence for young members of the Da Mula and other Venetian patrician families between the ages of 16 and 20 studying humanities and law at Padua University. His foundation survived until the fall of the Venetian Republic. Destroyed by fire in the early 19th century, it was rebuilt for a different use in the Neogothic style and can still be seen to this day.

The Painting
Regarding the provenance of this painting, we know only that in the 19th century it was at Panshanger in Hertfordshire, the Cowper family residence and home to a major picture collection which included two Madonnas by Raphael known as The Small Cowper Madonna and The Large Cowper Madonna, Widener and Mellon, both now in the National Gallery in Washington, one by Fra Bartolommeo della Porta and others by Andrea del Sarto, purchased by George, the Third Earl, in the second half of the 18th century in the course of several lengthy visits to Florence. We know a good deal about this collection thanks to Waagen’s Treasures (vol. iii, 1854, Letter xxiii, pp. 7-17; vol. iv, 1857, Letter vi, pp. 344-346) and, for its portraits, to Mary Louisa Boyle’s Biographical Catalogue of the Portraits at Panshanger published in 1885. Mrs. Boyle tells us that alongside an important series of portraits by Van Dyck and Rembrandt’s Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne on Horseback, the collection included work by all of the great English portrait artists, from Lely and Reynolds to Lawrence. The only Venetian painting, aside from a portrait attributed to Titian depicting three young girls and known as the Archduchesses of Austria, was this Cardinal by Tintoretto. Hanging on the staircase in Panshanger, it was described in the collection as the “portrait of a Cardinal (said to be Cardinal Trento), full-length, in robes, seated, holding a paper — inscribed ‘Concilium Tridenti 1546′ — 73 in. by 401/2 in.”, as we are told by a scroll glued to the new canvas. It was purchased at the turn of the 19th century by Francis, Seventh Earl of Cowper who died in 1905, in time to be included in Mrs. Boyle’s catalogue. However, despite the volume containing a wealth of historical information on the English aristocrats whose likenesses adorned the walls of the residence, she discusses our portrait in unintelligible terms, arguing that it is a portrait by Tintoretto of Cardinal Girolamo Trento of Padua who was born in 1728 and died in 1784, joined the Jesuit Order in Bologna at the age of 18 and was raised to the purple thereafter. Unfortunately no such Cardinal has ever existed. Be that as it may, on the Seventh Earl of Cowper’s death the collection was dispersed.
It is no simple matter to discuss the chronology of Tintoretto’s portraits, although we are aided in our task by a series of works which are either dated or fairly accurately datable on the strength of internal evidence, and by the studies of Rodolfo Pallucchini and Paola Rossi. Further contributions have been forthcoming more recently to tie in with exhibitions such as the exhibition in Madrid, where Miguel Falomir wrote the catalogue entry on portraits, or the exhibition in Rome, where Luisa Attardi wrote the catalogue entry on portraits. I think that Tintoretto’s first dated portraits, both 1545, are a standing, full-figure portrait of Niccolò Doria, his hand on his sword, now in a private collection and rarely seen, and a Gentleman in Hampton Court on which the date is now no longer legible. A Portrait of a Gentleman Aged Twenty-Eight with a window on his left, his hand resting on a table cloth and a worn red curtain behind him, in the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, is dated 1548, while a Portrait of a Young Man Holding his Gloves in his Left Hand by a Window in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Besançon, though undated, can confidently be set alongside it. Other works datable on the strengh of internal evidence include a portrait of Procurator Niccolò Priuli in the Ca’ d’Oro, painted some time between Priuli’s appointment to that post in 1545 and his death in 1549, and the portraits of Procurator Jacopo Soranzo, in the Castello Sforzesco and the Gallerie in Venice, whom Tintoretto portrayed twice shortly before Soranzo’s death in 1551, both in the midst of his family and on his own. As we enter the 1550s we get the impression that Tintoretto developed a portrait format built on Titian’s example yet with an originality resting on a combination of elegance, costume and gesture that I would almost call Emilian. His Portrait of a Man now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York is dated 1551, while a Portrait of a Man Aged Thirty-Five, his hand resting on a table, his head turning to look over his shoulder, traditionally thought to be a likeness of Lorenzo Soranzo and now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, is dated 1553. The novelty here seems to lie in the need to impart a certain elegant nonchalance and an awareness of his environment to the sitter and palpable sentiment to his facial features. The way the figure thrusts himself forward, accompanying his movement with his arms yet countering it with the movement of his head as he looks backward in concern, is extremely fine. In this, Tintoretto revives a great tradition in portraiture stretching from Giorgione right into the middle of the 16th century thanks, in particular, to Titian. We can now engage in a comparison with the coeval portraiture of Titian and of Veronese. What we assert applies also to the so-called Portrait of a Woman in Mourning, an undated work now in the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden which I would suggest was also painted in 1553. The woman rests on a piece of furniture with the same nonchalance that we saw in the portrait of Soranzo, and here too her head is turned in the opposite direction from her bust. In close proximity with these two portraits, we find another two pictures equally concerned to display a special elegance in standing figures adopting a three-quarter pose and paying particular attention to their facial expressions: a Young Man with a High Collar in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona, his arm crooked and his hand resting on his flank, his facial expression verging on the brash as he leans at a table with a hint of indolence perfectly in keeping with the sophistication of his costume; and a Young Man in the Christ Church Picture Gallery in Oxford who sports a superb blue tunic edged with a fur collar, gloves in hand, his right arm on his flank and his hand facing outwards so that we see the palm. These are unquestionably followed by the two Doria portraits depicting Agostino and Niccolò Doria in the Museo Cerralbo and the Uffizi respectively, known through Van Dyck’s Italian notebook. I use the term “followed” because they reflect the same concern with elegance, in fact even fastidiousness in the case of Niccolò Doria, inspired more than ever by non-Venetian prototypes; while the style that began with the portraits just mentioned is successfully pursued in the Portrait of Agostino Doria in his blue tunic as he thrusts himself forward, his pose twisting slightly and his hand outstretched towards us. A fitting conclusion to this sequence is represented by the Portrait of a Gentleman with a Gold Chain in the Prado. Standing in full profile, his head and gaze turned towards us, he is described thus by Pallucchini: “The figure, isolated against a solid colour background, is shown as though caught by surprise, his head betraying a startled movement as it turns towards the observer, offering itself to the light which models its features in masterly fashion. His gaze is deep and unforgettable. It has the look of a portrait by Titian, yet unadorned and more modern” (Pallucchini, Rossi, 192, 1990, i, p. 80). Writing for the exhibition in Rome (2012, p. 172), Luisa Attardi also highlights the far from negligible detail that the figure does not occupy a central position in the painting. One might say that, at this point in his career, Tintoretto felt the need to allow light to play a central role in his work in order to explore a new psychological intensity, a development whose consequences we shall see as we move into the 1560s. In the meantime, the portrait stands well alongside a Portrait of a Man Aged Thirty in Armour, with three columns behind him and a window open giving onto the sea as a sailing boat hoves into view, now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, which deserves a mention on account of the spectacular skill that the artist displays in rendering the sheen of the sitter’s armour. This sequence takes us to 1561 and to a Portrait of Giovanni Paolo Cornaro the Antiquarian Aged Thirty-Two in the Museum voor Schone Kunsten in Ghent, with two columns on a tall base behind the sitter, one hand gripping (for want of a better word) the fur lapels of his cloak and the other resting on a sculpture from his collection, a work whose artistic quality is extolled by Paola Rossi in her study of Tintoretto’s portraits (1974, 1990). The date on the Portrait of Scipione Clusone in Arms with a Dwarf Page in Palazzo Spinola is incomplete but it is likely that 1560 should be completed as 1561 or thereabouts. The portrait of Paolo Cornaro the Antiquarian takes us into the 1560s and a new season in Tintoretto’s portraiture. I would suggest that this season is characterised by the disappearance of any interest in elegance or stylisation in depicting the sitter, who in fact acquires a certain stark, workaday quality as he is probed by the light revealing his blue eyes. The sequence is likely to continue with a number of portraits which, while undated, are rightly thought to have been painted between 1562 and 1565: a Portrait of Alvise Cornaro in the Galleria Palatina in Florence and an Old Man and a Boy, possibly a grandfather with his grandson, in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The two Cornaro portraits are very similar, and indeed I can see no reason why we should make any distinction between Alvise Cornaro and the Old Man and a Boy. The Portrait of Ottavio Strada Aged Eighteen in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is a later work, painted in 1567 when he visited Venice, and it seems to me to mark the start of another new path. I would like to be certain regarding the date of the Harewood House Portrait of Benedetto Soranzo with a View of a Mediterranean Gulf, allegedly depicting the port of Alexandria. At the end of the day, 1563 – the year in which Soranzo was appointed Captain of the Gulf, after his appointment as Captain of the Galleys in Beirut in 1556 and as Patron of the Arsenale in 1557 – is the date most likely to have spawned a portrait with such unique iconography. The painting reveals a superb mastery of technique in portraying the sitter’s red tunic with its shards of light and its ermine stole.
In the early 1560s, setting aside the pose of figures shown standing in profile against the backdrop of a wall, Tintoretto discovered the seated portrait, reaching down to just above or below the knee and the chair set at a three-quarter angle. This allowed him to probe his sitter in greater depth, to draw close to him, to surprise him from the side, the man’s gaze looking straight ahead, focusing rather on himself. In the Vienna painting it is the boy who gazes at us, a ploy designed to underscore his grandfather’s intense self-absorbed concentration.
We are fortunate in that the Da Mula painting may be said to be dated, in fairly broad terms, by the fact that Da Mula was raised to the purple in February 1561 and died in March 1572, and more accurately by the fact that he holds in his right hand a scroll bearing the words in italic script «Concilium / Tridenti 15…». When I first saw the picture, one could make out the year 1546, the date the first Council of Trent began but which could not tally in any way with the style of the painting, thus I instantly pointed out that the date should be questioned. Recent restoration has made it clear that only the first two figures of the year are original. The date must have been 1562 or 1563, the dates of the Council’s third and final session which opened in January 1562 and came to an end in December 1563 and which was a session in which Da Mula played a leading role in his capacity as a Cardinal appointed by Pius IV precisely with a view to the Council’s imminent reopening. Da Mula, however. does not appear to have been one of the papal legates to the Council on a par, for example, with Seripando, yet being close to the Pope he undoubtedly played a liaising role between the legates and the papal court. Fra’ Paolo Sarpi tells us in his History of the Council of Trent (London, 1649, p. 796) that he consulted Da Mula’s hand-written memoirs of the Council, although it has never been clear exactly what those memoirs were: possibly the opinions that Da Mula shared with the Pope in his capacity as a member of the Congregation of the Inquisition, or a collection of correspondence between Da Mula and Seripando relating to the Council. I am fortunate that the painting is so accurately dated because comparison would not have been easy, although the overview that we have just sketched will prove that, at the end of the day, it is totally plausible for the Da Mula portrait to be set alongside those of Alvise Cornaro and of the Old Man and a Boy. The problem is that the painting is unique for very many reasons, first and foremost for the sitter, one of the Pope’s advisers, a Cardinal of the papal hearth, and a Venetian, yet far removed from the circle of Tintorettor’s customary patrons which comprised chiefly military men and procurators. Secondly, for the pose: a man seated, shown full figure, with the platform on which he rests his feet shown diagonally like the rest of the figure. It is true that other sitters portrayed by Tintoretto are depicted seated in a three-quarter pose, precisely from this moment in his career on, but they are shown only down to their knees. Da Mula, on the other hand, is moving back into the room, moving away from us, shunning our company and, above all, forcing us to enter crosswise into the painting. The different angle of the chair, the full-figure depiction pouring (for want of a better word) the volume of the rocchetto into the forefront, and the artifice of the platform set at an angle are all deliberatly important features. The prelate seems to be intent on relating to someone else next to him, or in any case to those standing before him. There may be a hint of dialogue but, inevitably, from a certain distance. Titian’s models are important for Tintoretto’s portraiture as a whole, but in this case, while one is tempted to say that Tintoretto paid greater attention to them than usual, particularly to his Paul III and to his Beccadelli, I get the impression that his most important models were the portraits of Popes Julius II and Leo X. He could see the former in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, while impotant copies of the latter, which almost immediately found its way to Florence, were in general circulation. The figure seated on a chair had become the formula for papal portraits since Raphael’s day, and anyone who remembers Shearman’s essay will also recall how the invention came about: «The viewpoint is a little above the head, as we can see from the acorn-shaped knobs adorning the throne, and it is close up but oblique. The observer has the impression that he is standing before the Pope but slightly to one side, as though he were a member of the Pontiff’s familia or of the College of Cardinals; in any event, he is standing in a specific spot in space and has a subjective rapport with the sitter» (1979, ed. ital. 1983, p. 109). Our own Cardinal, on the other hand, is marking his distance from us and we are, if anything, slightly below him because he is seated on a platform. But it so happens that neither the two portraits by Raphael nor those by Titian are full-figure works, and in that connection I think that I can safely argue that this Da Mula may well mark a turning point in the iconographical history of portraits of popes and cardinals. Amulio asked Tintoretto to portray him according to what was an inhabitual register for him, a fitting register for a great Cardinal of the Church of Rome, if not for the Pontiff himself, and in that light it is interesting to recall what I said earlier, namely that his candidature to the papacy was to be put forward by Pius IV in person a couple of years later. In this portrait he is already Pope. But I have not yet satisfactorily explained why this portrait is also one of its kind. It is one of its kind because we had never yet seen in Tintoretto’s work such an extraordinary display of painterly technique, of skill in describing the play of gloss and matt reflections on the velvet mozzetta or in conjuring up the cascade of whites in the rocchetto. Below, where the tunic is embroidered and displays a hint of a border, the weave of the brushstrokes reaches levels never seen before (certainly not by me, at any rate) in Tintoretto’s art. Such things were to be seen, but in the new luministic swerve of the 1560s, in the work of Jacopo Bassano, in his rendering of St. Valentine Baptising Lucilla. And notice how, beneath that weave of silver strokes, the brush uses highlights to convey the scarlet tunic resting on the shoe. A detail like this, taken from this corner of the painting, is absolutely disconcerting. It is as though we were uncertain who painted the detail: Was it Titian? Was it Bassano? Was it Tintoretto? Is it really Tintoretto? In the mozzetta the brushwork becomes particularly vibrant. We have seen this manual energy in marking the folds of a curtain or of a senatorial gown before on countless occasions – how many senatorial gowns trimmed with ermine have we seen and forgotten? – but here the energy of the stroke, which appears elsewhere to be pursuing an excessively crude effect of rushing through the stages of painting in order to achieve a superficially dynamic appreciation of the image, is subjected to an attempt to convey the enormous, astonishing opaqueness of the fabric, of the various nuances of muted reds in the fabric, of the mozzetta’s thickness and colour, thanks to a weave of minute yet lively brush strokes. We are looking at an instance of painting before which Velázquez himself would have raised his hat. It is easy to see, on the left shoulder, how at one point Tintoretto turned his brush around, working the handle into the thickness of the paint to draw it out into parallel furrows. This close-up detail of the shoulder also allows us to appreciate the variety in the phases of painting and the value of the half-tones between the peaks of light, of the small, lively tears and the peak of muted, reddish dullness. As soon as we move away from the depiction of the Cardinal’s clothing and our eye lights on the arm of the chair, we see the now customary vibrant brushwork. I have seen Tintoretto paint the arms of such chairs on several occasions, with their velvet trim, their studs and their fringed border, but never with such freedom, adopting his unique form of shorthand to convey the studs, turning them into uneven circles, using his brush to depict the trim and the fringed broder with such freedom, with such impetus. It is all mesmerising, all spectacular, a triumph of painting. In my view, the prelate’s lean, austere features (we should remember that he was fifty-six at the time), his eyes staring straight in front of him, stupendously painted, texturally fresh even in the more shadowy areas, the blushes, accurately reflect what we have learnt about the man, Pope Pius IV’s trusted Cardinal, a partner in the struggle conducted by Seripando and Morone, and a leading player in the attempt to reform the Catholic Church, rising to the occasion of the final session of the Council of Trent. Given that this portrait was painted in 1562 or 1563, and given that, unless I am very much mistaken, it was only at the beginning of that decade that the seated portrait with the sitter placed on a diagonal chair entered Tintoretto’s repertoire, I wonder whether the Da Mula portrait may not in fact have triggered this renewal in Tintoretto’s approach to portraiture. The dates certainly tally, if Benedetto Soranzo was painted in 1563 and Cornaro and the Old Man and a Boy were painted some time between 1562 and1565. Moreover, Paola Rossi has dated Vincenzo Zeno Aged Seventy-Four in the Galleria Palatina, seated thus before a red curtain by a window, to some time between 1560 and 1565.
We do not know what triggered this search for such a virtuoso performance in paint. We know of no special relationship with Da Mula on Tintoretto’s part that might lie behind the commissioning of this portrait. Da Mula did not move to Rome until 1560, so he may well have tracked the development of Tintoretto’s career in Venice for almost twenty years. Ridolfi certainly does not come to our aid, mentioning only a “caprice with Muses with Apollo in their midst, playing the lyre” by Tintoretto in the Da Mula residence in San Vidal (1648, ed. von Hadeln, ii, p. 55). We also know that Amulio happened to be in Augsburg in 1552 in his capacity as Orator of the Republic at the same time as Titian was in the city, but we have no idea whether their paths even crossed. Subsequent events in Rome hint at a certain penchant for the work of Porta, but Porta was not a portrait artist. Thus when Da Mula travelled north to attend the Council, he may well have sought out the leading Venetian portrait artist of his day, and Tintoretto for his part is likely to have held in particular esteem a man who had so recently been raised to the purple. Da Mula must have asked for something very specific, and he may even have indicated his models (the ones we have mentioned in the course of this essay), to which I am tempted to add, in view of the considerable esteem in which he held Cardinal Reginald Pole, the very fine portrait of that Cardinal in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, formerly thought to be by Sebastiano del Piombo but in fact by the hand of Perin del Vaga, the only problem with that being that I have no idea where the portrait was in the years in which Amulio was in Rome.

Alessandro Ballarin

(1) Portrait of Cardinal Marcantonio Da Mula, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana

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