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Portrait of a Young Man

Giovanni Bellini

European Art

Sitting in the occhio e mezzo (eye and a half) pose, also known as a three-quarter view, this unidentified young man wears his hair in the Venetian shoulder-length (zazzera) style. His dark cloak and berretto, or cap, and the tenebrous background emphasize his facial features—pale skin, aquiline nose, and full lips—as well as his auburn hair. Bellini places the figure behind a parapet, a compositional device originally derived from Flemish portrait traditions. Demonstrating his great technical facility, Bellini carefully paints a folded sheet of paper, or cartellino, which he signs in Latin.
MEDIUM Tempera with oil glazes on panel
  • Place Made: Italy
  • DATES ca. 1480
    DIMENSIONS 10 1/2 x 8 3/8 in. (26.7 x 21.3 cm) Frame: 15 1/2 x 13 1/2 in. (39.4 x 34.3 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed center bottom on cartellino: "IOHANNES BELLINUS"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Giovanni Bellini (Italian, Venetian, active by 1459, died 1516). Portrait of a Young Man, ca. 1480. Tempera with oil glazes on panel, 10 1/2 x 8 3/8 in. (26.7 x 21.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam, 32.804
    IMAGE overall, 32.804.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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