This portrait of a gentleman with sailing ships on the background was executed around 1830s and purchased in the private estate of Austrian noble family Galatti. Due to the family legend it depicts Michele Tomaso Galatti (born 1805 in Chios , died in Graz), the Gouverneur of Triest and Austrian Coast in 1830-1840. Not much is known about the portrayed person. We have found that the family of Michele Tomaso Galatti (Galati), born on the Greek island of Chios, arrived in Trieste and settled there after the Ottoman massacres on Chios (1822) and in the course of the Greek Uprising (Greek War of Liberation).
We attributed this portrait to the hand of Jacab (Jacopo Antonio) Marastoni ( 1804 Venice - 1860 Pest), famous Austrian-Hungarian portrait painter from the first half of 19th century. In addition to the stylistic similarity of portraits of Marastoni. our assumption is also based on the fact that the artist, like the depicted sitter , lived and worked in Trieste in the same time.
After art study in Venice Jakab Marastoni worked in Gorizia, Trieste, Klagenfurt and Vienna. From 1834 he lived in Prussia, then in Pest, where he founded a private painting school. Next to Barabás, he was the most productive portrait painter of his time in Hungary. In 1846 he founded the First Hungarian Academy of Painters. In the same year he became an honorary citizen of the city of Pest. Blind in 1859, he died in an asylum.
Literature: in on-line : www.booklooker.de ( info about Galatti) ; artist lexicons by Thieme/Becker, Comanducci, Bénézit; Nagy.
Inscription: unsigned, a label with info about the sitter on the back of the stretcher.
Technique: oil on canvas, original period gilt frame.
Measurements: unframed w 26 3/4" x h 31 1/2" (68 x 80 cm); framed w 38 5/8" x h 43 1/3" (98 x 110 cm).
Condition: very good condition.