Portrait of Luigi Parmeggiani
Ignacio de Leon y Escosura
Luigi Parmeggiani, with hoary hair and mustache and serene expression, is portrayed seated in the center of a room, surrounded by the objects that characterized his antiquarian activity. At the date of the painting, however, Parmeggiani is 41 years old, and is far from resembling the portrait. However, the painting and the signature are authentic, and this generates a contradiction. The mystery is probably revealed by the request for payment of a painter from Reggio, who in the 1930s was perhaps commissioned to insert Parmeggiani as an elder in place of a pre-existing figure. By carefully observing the painting, in fact, around the seated man you can see signs of scraping of the pictorial material and new layers of color.