The handsome man in the portrait was also the artist. Artist Scipione Pulzone, also known as il Gaetano, which is a pretty cool nickname, was born in Naples. He created the self-portait in 1574.
He paints in the Renaissance Mannerist style, which means he pays attention to details. You can almost feel the silkiness of his shirt and the softness of his vest. And that sliver of a scar on his hairline, his only flaw, draws my eye every time.
He is famous for the masterpiece below, Mater Divine Providentiae, or Mary, Mother of Divine Providence. Il Gaetano’s 1574 painting is based on Christ’s first public miracle at the wedding of Cana. His mother Mary’s intercession helped the bride and groom avoid the embarrassment of running out of food. This painting is said to have inspired the Our Lady of Providence devotion. Isn’t Mary exquisite holding her son?
Il Gaetano was devoted to the Catholic church and was best known for his portraits of Popes Pius V and Gregory XIII. Also, he painted several Medici’s.
None, I bet, were anywhere near as good looking as il Gaetano.