Portrait of a Young Man (c. 1480-85) by Sandro Botticelli

Portrait of a Young Man - Sandro Botticelli - c.1469

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Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a Young Man
ArtistSandro Botticelli
MediumTempera on Panel
Dimensions51 x 33.7 cm
Art MovementEarly Renaissance
Current LocationPalazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy

About Portrait of a Young Man

The artwork, titled “Portrait of a Young Man,” is a distinguished work of the Early Renaissance by the eminent artist Sandro Botticelli, crafted circa 1469. Executed with tempera on panel, the painting measures approximately 51 by 33.7 centimeters and fits within the genre of portraiture. Presently, the artwork graces the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, Italy, where it is displayed for public admiration.

“Portrait of a Young Man” by Sandro Botticelli stands as an exquisite representation of the Early Renaissance portraiture style, encapsulating the aesthetic principles of the period. The figure is depicted against a pale, nondescript background, which emphasizes the thoughtful expression of the youth and draws attention to the individual characteristics. The young man is portrayed with a keen sense of realism, which is observed in the careful rendering of his facial features, including the nuanced shadows and contours of the face.

Dressed in a vibrant red tunic that contrasts with the dark tones of his cape and hat, the subject conveys a sense of nobility and fashion indicative of the time. The play of light on the texture of the fabric and the precise delineation of the garment showcase Botticelli’s skillful use of the tempera medium. Furthermore, the restrained color palette, dominated by the red of the attire and the flesh tones of the face, aligns with the artistic conventions of the epoch.

The young man’s gaze is direct and engaging, connecting with the viewer across the centuries, offering a window into the soul of the era and the individual alike. There is a serene gravity in the way he presents himself, perhaps alluding to the burgeoning humanist ideals of the Renaissance that emphasized individual worth and the study of the human condition.

Overall, the artwork captures the transition from the medieval to a more human-centered world view, blending the sitter’s personal story with the broader narrative of early Renaissance art and society.

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