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Bought by the state in 1981 and destined for the Gallerie dell’Accademia, this important portrait by Bernardo Strozzi depicts Giovanni Grimani (1595–1653), a Venetian patrician with a chequered life and complex political and diplomatic career, who was ambassador to Vienna from 1637 to 1640, during the reign of Ferdinand III. Strozzi was commissioned to paint the official portrait in all probability to commemorate Grimani’s knighthood, which was bestowed on him just after his return from Vienna. The honorary appointment, in fact, is alluded to by the heavy, ornate golden stole he proudly displays along with several official documents on the table, a reference to his diplomatic activity. Harking back to the full-figure portraits by Rubens and Van Dyck he had admired in his native city of Genoa, Strozzi here bears witness to his unique gifts as a portraitist that would make him so successful in Venice. Entirely played out in red tones, this severe effigy of the shrewd politician must have greatly influenced the following generation of portraitists working in Venice between the seventeenth and eighteenth century such as Girolamo Forabosco, Fra Galgario, and Alessandro Longhi.