Portrait of philosopher, scholar - head

Head of a Philosopher, 1750s–60s


Oil on canvasexpand_more

The William Hood Dunwoody Fundexpand_more  16.1

Magnifying glass still in hand, a bearded man looks up from his reading with an intent gaze, his thoughts likely as lively as his unkempt eyebrows. He wears an exotic hat and a heavy cloak secured by an elaborate antique clasp. This painting is a tronie, or expressive head—a type of genre portrait popularized by Dutch artists in the 1600s. Tronies do not depict any particular person. Here, the subject is a contemplative and learned character. Rembrandt produced many tronies as prints, which undoubtedly inspired Domenico Tiepolo.

The talented Domenico worked alongside his famous father, Giambattista, early in his career, and from time to time this picture has been attributed to Giambattista. Both father and son produced a number of such imagined portraits of old men and scholars wearing fanciful clothes and intense expressions.



Tiepolo, Head of a Philosopher (#708)
Head of a Philosopher
Artist Life
Italian (Venice), 1727–1804
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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Portrait of philosopher, scholar - head