Giovanni Pesaro is shown in a ceremonial bavero – an ermine cape closed at the front with large decorative buttons, and a corno ducale – the distinctive hat worn by the doges of Venice.
The bust is attributed to Justin Le Court, who was at that time working in Italy, based on its similarities to his official likeness of Giovanni Pesaro, in the Doges Palace, as well as the rendering of specific details which are very close to those of his confirmed works.
The sculpture was formerly in the Palazzo Mocenigo in Venice; in c. 1974 it was identified by Andrzej Ciechanowiecki; subsequently in a private collection in the UK. 1980 – gift of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Royal Castle in Warsaw.
Justus Le Court (Giusto Le Corte) (Ypres 1627–1678 Venice)
Sculptor from Flanders; he often worked in Rome and from the mid-1650s in Venice. He designed the statue of the Virgin for the Des Fusiliers Chapel in the Cathedral in Antwerp and the St. Martin’s altar in Ypres. He was the author of the tomb statues made for Alvisa Mocenigo in the church of S. Lazzaro dei Mendicanti and Girolama Cavazza in the church of S. Maria dell’Orto in Venice. The recognition he gained among his contemporaries enabled him to cooperate with the renowned architects Baldassare Longhena and Giuseppe Sardi.
Giovanni Pesaro (d. 1659), Doge of Venice in the years 1658–9. A large number of works of art commemorating him were produced during his short term of office. These include his tombstone, designed by Baldassare Longhena (in the church of S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari), for the making of which Pesaro left a sizeable sum of money in his will.