Portrait of a young Venetian (c.1506) by Albrecht Durer

Portrait of a young Venetian - Albrecht Durer - c.1506

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a young Venetian
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Portrait of a young Venetian

“Portrait of a Young Venetian” is an artwork by Albrecht Dürer, created in approximately 1506. This oil painting on panel is an exemplar of the Northern Renaissance art movement and is specifically a portrait genre. Dürer’s piece demonstrates his skill in capturing the delicate details and individual character of his subjects.

In the painting, we see a young person portrayed in three-quarter profile, looking gently to their right. They have fair skin accentuated with soft shadows, which gives their face a very three-dimensional appearance. Their forehead is partly covered by a dark red headscarf that tightly encompasses their head, leaving only strands of blond hair visible at their temples. The person depicted wears a necklace crafted with intricate design, complementing the delicate features of their visage. Their attire includes a reddish garment with a deep neckline, adorned with a diverse range of textures and colors: rich golds, deep blacks, and highlights of red and blue, indicating the luxurious and ornate fashion characteristic of Venetian society in the Renaissance period.

The portrait emanates an aura of refined elegance and serenity, reflective of the artistic focus during the Renaissance on humanism and the study of individuals’ nature and personality. Dürer’s remarkable proficiency in detail is evident in the rendering of the fabrics’ different textures and the individual links of the chain necklace. The background is an unadorned, neutral tone that serves to draw the viewer’s focus to the subject. Dürer’s monogram can be seen in the top left corner, marking the work as his creation. The subtlety and warmth of the expression, combined with the lifelike precision of the person’s features, make this portrait a significant and timeless piece.

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