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Salvator Rosa: 'Self Portrait'

The painting shows an openly challenging and brooding character, which is underlined by the Latin inscription on the stone, lower left, below the right hand of the painter: 'Be quiet, unless your speech be better than silence'. In composition and in its sombre colouring the portrait recalls the half-length representations of Philosophy that Ribera had popularised in Naples.

The painting was probably painted about 1645 at the beginning of Rosa's period in Florence, and is first recorded there in the Niccolini collection.


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