Skip to main content
Why can't I download this image?

The National Gallery has endeavoured to make as many images of the collection as possible available for non-commercial use. However, an image of this painting is not available to download. This may be due to third party copyright restrictions.

If you require a license for commercial use of this image, please use the National Gallery Company's Online Picture Library or contact them using the following:

Two Expressive Heads

/

These two paintings, which are of similar subjects and identical in size, were almost certainly intended as pendants, or companion pieces, to be hung together. The men portrayed here are evidently poor – their ragged clothing is roughly stitched together, one suffers from a swollen goitre on his neck and the other has missing teeth – but the artist’s portrayal is entirely sympathetic. These men are full of character, their expressions lively and engaging. The loose, animated brushwork adds to their sense of immediacy.

The style and subject of these paintings are typical of Giacomo Francesco Cipper, who specialised in painting low-life scenes of beggars, street-sellers and vagabonds in Milan – a genre in which another painter working in Lombardy, Giacomo Ceruti (1697–1767), later excelled.

;