Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Roundel is attributed to the renowned Italian artist Sandro Botticelli and is housed at the National Gallery, London. Painted in the late 15th century, the portrait features the prominent theme of a young man holding a roundel, which is thought to be a symbol of love, marriage or harmony. The sitter’s identity remains unknown, with several art historians speculating that it may represent Giuliano de’ Medici.
The painting is executed with Botticelli’s signature style, which includes a delicate use of color, precise details, and the application of the fresco technique. The red cap worn by the sitter is a distinguishing feature and adds an element of youthfulness. The young man appears proud of the medallion he holds over his heart, which is located where the heart chakra is in Hindu mythology, elevating the portrait’s significance.
Botticelli was widely known for his portraits of contemporary Renaissance Florentines, and the style of the portrait suggests it was painted around 1480. The landscape in the background of the portrait is less detailed, with a neutral tone to draw the viewer’s attention towards the sitter. Botticelli’s practice was influenced by the ideas of the Neoplatonic Academy, which has inspired many of his masterpieces. The painting sold for a hefty $92m at an auction held in early 2021.