Luigi Lucioni’s magnetic likeness of Paul Cadmus (1904–1999) is perhaps the quintessential twenties portrait. Presenting the budding young painter as a polished advertising artist, it also celebrated the shared passion of two young moderns for the ideal forms of Italian Renaissance art. Sitter and subject had probably met as students, and they doubtless shared acquaintances within New York’s circles of gay artists and writers. In portraying Cadmus, Lucioni referred to the distilled and evocative quietism of fifteenth-century frescoes by Piero della Francesca and Andrea Mantegna. Within a modern close-up format, he flawlessly outlined and modeled his sitter’s head against the modest backdrop of a creased white cloth. Cadmus’s gaze is at once tentative and mesmerizing.
- Artist: Luigi Lucioni, American, born Italy, 1900-1988
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dates: 1928
- Dimensions: 16 x 12 1/8 in. (40.6 x 30.8 cm) Frame: 20 3/8 x 16 1/2 x 2 in. (51.8 x 41.9 x 5.1 cm) (show scale)
- Signature: Signed upper right: "L. Lucioni 28"
- Collections:American Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Modern Life, 5th Floor
- Accession Number: 2007.28
- Credit Line: Dick S. Ramsay Fund
- Rights Statement: Orphaned work
- Caption: Luigi Lucioni (American, born Italy, 1900-1988). Paul Cadmus, 1928. Oil on canvas, 16 x 12 1/8 in. (40.6 x 30.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 2007.28
- Record Completeness: Best (83%)