Self Portrait (c.1505) by Leonardo da Vinci

Self Portrait - Leonardo da Vinci - c.1505

Artwork Information

TitleSelf Portrait
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationUffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

About Self Portrait

The artwork “Self Portrait” is attributed to the illustrious High Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, believed to have been created circa 1505. This self-portrait resonates with the distinctive characteristics of the High Renaissance era, encapsulating the period’s dedication to the depiction of human emotion and naturalism. This introspective piece of the artist is housed within the esteemed Uffizi Gallery, located in Florence, Italy, contributing to the gallery’s renown as a treasure trove of Renaissance art.

In the artwork, the viewer is presented with a head-and-shoulders depiction of a man, assumed to be Leonardo himself, based on historical context. The visage of the subject conveys a sense of solemn introspection, with the artist’s gaze directed slightly to the side, away from the beholder. The countenance is marked by deep-set eyes, a straight nose, and a full beard that flows down, graying as it cascades over the chest. His hair, equally long and ample, is shown with delicate gradations of color that impart a naturalistic quality.

Leonardo dons a traditional garment of the era, topped with a hat, with its shadows adding depth to the figure. The mastery of chiaroscuro, evident in the nuanced interplay of shadow and light across the facial topography, imparts a sculptural dimension to the portrait. The background is muted, devoid of distinct detail, drawing focus to the subject and allowing the viewer to engage with the psychological complexity the portrait suggests. The skillful rendering and contemplative nature of the subject are emblematic of the artistic achievements that defined the High Renaissance, as well as Leonardo da Vinci’s legacy as an artist of profound insight into the human spirit.

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