Faustino Avogadro, called Il Cavaliere dal Piede Ferito (The Knight with the Wounded Foot)

Oil painting of a young nobleman leaning against a plumed helmet. A silver-hilted rapier hangs from his belt and pieces of renaissance era armor are strewn about.
Giovanni Battista Moroni 
Faustino Avogadro, called Il Cavaliere dal Piede Ferito (The Knight with the Wounded Foot),  ca. 1555–60
Oil on canvas
79 5/8 x 41 7/8 in. (202.3 x 106.5 cm)
The National Gallery, London (NG 1022)
© The National Gallery, London

 

 
Married to Lucia Albani, Faustino Avogadro was among the associates of the Albani clan banished in 1563 from territories of the Venetian Republic after a bloody feud between the Albani and Brembati. He reportedly died at age thirty-seven by drunkenly falling into a well and breaking his neck. The nature of the ailment requiring the apparatus on his left leg is unknown; speculations include a battle injury or “drop-foot” or a related condition that affects the movement of the ankle. Neither would necessarily have precluded him from military service or tournament competition, to which the feathered helmet with the radiating sun of the Avogadro family’s heraldic device seems to refer. With his plate armor strewn seemingly allegorically on the ground, he wears fine mail gussets laced to a leather arming doublet. What appears to be gilding around the gussets’ edges underscores the luxurious quality of such functional elements, which would have been worn beneath plate armor.