Portrait of a man with ermine coat (c.1560) by Titian

Portrait of a man with ermine coat - Titian - c.1560

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a man with ermine coat
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

About Portrait of a man with ermine coat

The artwork titled “Portrait of a man with ermine coat” is a significant piece from the High Renaissance period, created by the master artist Titian around the year 1560. This portrait is an exemplary work that showcases the art movement’s characteristic attention to humanist detail and naturalistic depiction. The genre of the artwork is portraiture, and it currently resides within the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

In the artwork, we observe a stately gentleman depicted in a three-quarter pose against a dark, unembellished background that serves to draw the viewer’s attention to the subject himself. The individual portrayed is dressed in a black garment with a luxurious white ermine coat, symbolizing his wealth and social status. The fur’s detailed texture contrasts sharply with the smoothness of the man’s skin and the fine fabric of his clothing.

Titian’s expert use of chiaroscuro enhances the three-dimensionality of the figure, with the lighting subtly modeling the man’s facial features and giving a sense of depth to the portrait. The subject’s expression is solemn and confident, with his lips closed and his posture upright, conveying a sense of dignity and contemplation. The painting’s composition and the lifelike representation of the subject are characteristic of Titian’s work during the High Renaissance, a time during which artists aimed to capture the essence of their subjects with accuracy and psychological depth.

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