Andrea Tron belonged to one of the most important families in Venice. He served twice as a Venetian ambassador, to Paris and to Vienna. Here, the embroidered sash across his left shoulder shows that he is a Knight of the Golden Stole, a Venetian order of knighthood. This honour was usually bestowed by the senate when an ambassador returned to Venice, and Tron may have received it after returning from Paris in 1748.
For all this portrait’s grandeur, Nazari has captured Tron’s portly figure, beady eyes, thin brows and sagging chin. Tron, dressed in a maroon robe and holding a pair of white gloves, greets us with self-important expression. He stands on a patterned rug, the bold colouring of which complements his clothing and the curtain with its golden tassel trim. The writing material on the table and simple but grand setting remind us of Tron’s position as a senator and his duties in public office.
Andrea Tron belonged to one of the most important families in Venice and became a notable figure in Venetian politics. He was elected Procurator of San Marco (a guardian of one of the most famous squares in Venice) in 1773 and also narrowly missed being elected doge (head of state).
The Tron family coat of arms on the surmount of the original frame (the only part of it which survives) confirms the identity of the man depicted here, as does an engraving by Felice Zuliani after the picture which gives his name. The heavily embroidered sash across his left shoulder shows that he is a Knight of the Golden Stole, a Venetian order of knighthood. This honour was usually bestowed by the senate when an ambassador returned to Venice. Tron served twice as an ambassador, to Paris and to Vienna, and may have received the honour after returning from Paris in 1748. This same insignia can also be seen in Tintoretto’s Portrait of Vincenzo Morosini, as Morosini was granted the same title around 200 years earlier.
For all this portrait’s grandeur, Nazari has captured Tron’s portly figure, tightly curled wig, beady eyes, thin brows and sagging chin. Tron, dressed in a maroon robe which reveals delicate lace sleeves, greets us with a self-important expression. He holds a pair of white gloves in one hand and points with the other. A rich velvet green curtain has been pulled back to reveal a rococo-inspired room and an elegant writing table, on which sit several books and an ink quill and pot. The writing material on the table and simple but grand setting remind us of his position as a senator and his duties in public office. Nazari’s skill at imitating a range of patterns and textures is clear in the beautiful rug with bold colouring that complements Tron’s clothing and the curtain with its golden tassel trim. The artist’s attention to detail can be appreciated in way he has depicted subtle ripples in the rug beneath Tron’s feet.
Nazari, whose father Bartolomeo was also a portrait painter, was in high demand in Venice; he was commissioned by many major political figures of the day, as well as foreign visitors to the city – especially the English. This is Nazari’s most accomplished portrait. Painted on a large scale (it measures around 2.5 metres high by 1.5 metres wide), it shows his ability to capture the sitter’s features and a grand, fashionable setting.
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