Ritratto di giovane uomo (c.1480)

Bellini, Giovanni (c.1430-1516)

Ritratto di giovane uomo (Portrait of a Young Man)
Tempera with oil glazes on panel, 26.7 x 21.3 cm
Brooklyn MuseumNew York

Signed center bottom on cartellino: “IOHANNES BELLINUS”

Sitting in the occhio e mezzo (eye and a half) pose, also known as a three-quarter view, this unidentified young man wears his hair in the Venetian shoulder-length (zazzera) style. His dark cloak and berretto, or cap, and the tenebrous background emphasize his facial features—pale skin, aquiline nose, and full lips—as well as his auburn hair. Bellini places the figure behind a parapet, a compositional device originally derived from Flemish portrait traditions. Demonstrating his great technical facility, Bellini carefully paints a folded sheet of paper, or cartellino, which he signs in Latin. (BkM)