Ritratto di un giovane (c.1510)

Tiziano (c.1488-1576)

Ritratto di un giovane (Portrait of a Young Man)
Mixed technique on poplar, 20 x 17 x 0.4 cm
Städel MuseumFrankfurt

This early work by Titian presents such a radically close-up view of the sitter that he has to cut off the top of his cap and even his arms. The casual clothing – a white chemise clearly visible under a blue jacket shot through with gold thread – implies an intimacy that is further amplified by the small size of the panel. This is indeed the smallest of Titian’s paintings and not unlike a portrait miniature. Whether it was originally a stand-alone piece or was worked into a piece of furniture or wooden panelling is impossible to say. (SG)