This elegant portrait of a young nobleman is one of the artist’s very finest, painted when he was at the height of his powers in the early- to mid-1670s. It displays such a luminous quality and sensitivity that it is no surprise that Voet was among the most prominent and fashionable portrait painters of his day. Painted in Rome, it has been described by Francesco Petrucci as a ‘highly important example relating to the birth of portraiture of British grand tourists in Italy’.
Presumably commissioned by the sitter and by descent to Colin Crewe, Nether Hall, Old Newton, Stowmarket; his sale Christie’s London, 20 November 1992, lot 3; where acquired by George Pinto (1929 – 2018), Bramling, Kent.
 George Pinto, a celebrated English merchant banker at Kleinwort Benson, was renowned as an eccentric. He was a talented amateur golfer and a passionate supporter of Zionist causes.
F. Petrucci, Ferdinand Voet (1639 – 1689), detto Ferdinando de ‘Ritratti’, Rome, 2003, pp.14, 69 and 264, no.259, illustrated.
The Weiss Gallery, A Connoisseur's Eye, London 2020, pp. 60 - 63, cat. 12.
Voet often painted his male sitters in exotic and luxurious chamber robes (or ‘banyan’), as seen here. His bravura portrayal of the flowing grey and gold silk embroidered robe is typical, with a resplendent pink silk lining to match the sitter’s pink bowtie – artfully asymmetrical. It is a confection of texture, continued in the frothy lace cravat, and the sitter’s softly curling hair. The young man’s face is equally sensitively rendered with soft highlights to the nose and eyes, and a pink blush to his cheeks, while the seriousness of his expression is in contrast to his youthfulness. Voet subtly individualises the young man’s features, with his dandy moustache and distinctly bushy eyebrows. Previously thought to depict John Offley Crewe (1681 – 1749) – an impossible identification due to the painting’s dating between 1670 and 1675 – it more likely depicts his father, John Offley of Madeley in Staffordshire and latterly Crewe Hall (1650 – 1688).
Flemish by birth, Jakob Ferdinand Voet’s artistic ambition led him first to Rome and then on to Paris, where his stylish technique and attention to costume was eagerly endorsed by the most fashionable and eminent sitters. The artist’s phenomenal success was in part due to his renowned affability, enabling him to obtain the favour of new patrons and to maintain his professional relations with all the major families of the Roman nobility. He travelled extensively in Italy, executing numerous commissions in Como and Milan and it is probable that he also travelled to Genoa, and certainly to Florence, Modena and Parma. His tenure in Rome, from 1663 – 1679, was consistently marked by patronage from the Papal court and the local aristocracy, including the Mancini and Colonna families.
Voet is perhaps best remembered for his series of Les Belle Romanes – a great set of portraits of the most enchanting women of Rome. Inspired by the Mancini sisters, these portraits from 1672 onwards included sitters from the Chigi, Savoia and Massimo families, as well as other celebrated Italian dynasties. The paintings were so popular that the artist was repeatedly asked to reproduce replicas and versions. After working mainly in Italy, his reputation was such that he spent the last years of his life as ‘Pittore del Re’ – official portraitist to the Sun King, Louis XIV, in Paris. With such international production, his fame even surpassed that of Pierre Mignard, Carlo Maratta, Giovanni Maria Morandi and Baciccio, his main rivals in the genre.
 In an email to The Weiss Gallery, 19 November 2019.
 A series of letters from the Odescalchi archive, published by Marco Pizzo, show that Voet’s sojourn to Lombard lasted about a year in 1680. Furthermore, from the correspondence of Francesco Maria della Porta with Livio Odescalchi, it becomes clear that Voet was even summoned by Charles II of Spain to execute court portraits some time between February and early May 1680. See: Marco Pizzo, ‘Livio Odescalchi e i Rezzonico. Documenti su arte e collezionismo alla fine del XVH secolo’ in Fondazione Giorgio Cini - Saggi e memorie di storia dell’arte, 1732.
 His production of ecclesiastical portraiture was prodigious, including ‘rows’ of fourteen cardinals and the official image of the Odescalchi Pope, Inno- cent XI.
 Cristina Geddo, ‘New Light on the Career of Jacob-Ferdinand Voet’, from The Burlington Magazine, vol.143, no.1176 (March 2001), p.138.