Tanzio and the portraits of clients: Novara and Valsesia
FILIPPO MARIA FERRO
Analyzing new documented facts emerging from the Archivio di Stato di Novara, the author traces back the network of personal and cultural connections around the local Nazari family, whose social rise climaxed in the late 16th-early 17th Century. The main object oh this study is their family portrait gallery, and their commissioning relationship with Tanzio da Varallo: the Portrait of an Old Man, dated 1623 and positively identifiable as the progenitor Ferrante Nazari, is compared with those of his young son Ottavio Nazari and his rich spouse, noblewoman Caterina Scrivante. The analysis also takes into consideration other prominent personalities of that peculiarly closed society: the notables are studied in their roles and qualities through the portraits found in the coeval artistic production.