'Men in Armor: El Greco and Pulzone Face to Face'

  • Visual arts
  • New York
  • Mon, August 25 —
    Sun, October 26, 2014
'Men in Armor: El Greco and Pulzone Face to Face'

The Frick Collection marks the 400th anniversary of El Greco’s death pairing Vincenzo Anastagi portrait with a rarely seen masterpiece.

From 1570 to 1576, El Greco (1541–1614) worked in Rome, where he endeavored to establish himself as a portrait painter. The artist’s magnificent Vincenzo Anastagi ―a full-length standing portrait representing the largest of only three examples of his work in this genre to survive from the period― offers a vital expression of his ambition and invention.

To mark the 400th anniversary of El Greco’s death, the Frick pairs Vincenzo Anastagi, purchased by Henry Clay Frick in 1913, with the rarely seen Portrait of Jacopo Boncompagni by the artist’s Roman contemporary Scipione Pulzone (ca. 1540/42–1598), on loan from a private collection.

Both subjects are depicted wearing armor, which communicated a complex range of associations with masculinity, military valor, wealth, and social status. Pulzone’s refined portrait of Boncompagni, commander of the papal army during the reign of his father, Pope Gregory XIII, epitomizes the elegant style that dominated high-society portraiture in late sixteenth-century Rome. El Greco’s expressive portrayal of Anastagi, appointed by Boncompagni as sergeant major of Rome’s Castel Sant’Angelo in 1575, stands in stark contrast, underscoring the artist’s innovative departures from convention.


Venue map

The Frick Collection, 1 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021


Buy tickets. Opening hours: Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 am to 6 pm; Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm.

More information

The Frick Collection


The exhibition is organized by Jeongho Park, Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow. Image: Scipione Pulzone (ca. 1540/42–98), Jacopo Boncompagni, 1574; oil on canvas, private collection, courtesy Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd.; photo by Michael Bodycomb.



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