© Museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica Bologna

Name of Object:

Portrait of Carlo Broschi called Farinelli


Bologna, Italy

Holding Museum:

Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica


c. 1755

Type of object:



Corrado Domenico Nicolò Antonio Giaquinto (8th February 1703, Molfetta (BA)-1766, Naples)

Period of activity:

c. 1727–1765

Museum Inventory Number:

B 39188

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Oil on canvas

Place of production:



275,5 x 185,5 cm

Workshop / Movement:

Neapolitan Baroque


Farinelli’s Villa, once in via Lame 228, Bologna


This painting is a portrait of the world famous soprano castrate singer Carlo Broschi whose stage name was Farinelli. He is wearing a cape of the order of Calatrava as in 1750 he was made a Knight of this important Spanish order by the king of Spain Ferdinand VI. The singer touches a page of music laid on the cembalo with his left hand. In the background, oval portraits of the King of Spain and his queen, Maria Barbara di Braganza, are surrounded by a tripudium of nymphs and cupids. There is also a self-portrait of the painter, Corrado Giaquinto. The portrait was part of Farinelli’s rich collection of paintings decorating his villa in Bologna, where he retired after a long stay at the court of Madrid (1737–1759).

Original Owner:

Maria Carlotta Pisani, Farinelli’s niece, bequest

How Object was obtained:

Presented to the Comune di Bologna in 1850 by Maria Carlotta Pisani, the niece of Farinelli.

Selected bibliography:

Mostra della pittura italiana del '600 e del '700 (exhibition catalogue), Rome, 1922, p. 21.
Pittura Italiana del Settecento (exhibition catalogue) (eds. E. Riccòmini and J. Winkelmann), Bologna, 1974, pp. 38-39.
Collezionismo e storiografia musicale nel Settecento. La quadreria e la biblioteca di Padre Martini (exhibition catalogue), Bologna, 1984.
Le stanze della musica (exhibition catalogue), Cinisello Balsamo (Mi), 2002.
Guida al percorso espositivo del Museo della Musica, Bologna, 2004.

Citation of this web page:

Jenny  Servino "Portrait of Carlo Broschi called Farinelli" in Discover Baroque Art , Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;BAR;it;Mus12_D;34;en&id=theatre

Prepared by: Jenny ServinoJenny Servino

SURNAME: Servino
NAME: Jenny

AFFILIATION: Museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica, Bologna
(International Museum and Library of Music)

TITLE: Curator


Graduated in Political Science at the University La Sapienza of Rome. From 1996 to 2001 she worked for the Ufficio Spettacolo dell’Assessorato alla Cultura della Regione Piemonte and she was tecnical representative of the Regione Piemonte in the Association for the Joung Artists. In 2001 she became curator of the Civico Museo Bibliografico musicale of Bologna. Since 2002 she is tecnical representative of the Comune di Bologna for the international association European Mozart Ways and in 2004, when the International Museum and Library of Music was inaugurated, she was created curator.

Translation by: Antonella MampieriAntonella Mampieri

SURNAME: Mampieri
NAME: Antonella

AFFILIATION: Musei Civici d’Arte Antica, Bologna

TITLE: Art Hitorian

Graduated and specialised at the University of Bologna. She is a specialist in Bolognese late Baroque art, namely sculpture. Among other subjects she has been studying nineteenth-century funerary art in the Bologna monumental cemetery, la Certosa.

Translation copyedited by: Lisa Kelman

MWNF Working Number: IT2 37