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Portrait of a Man

Lorenzo Costa

European Art

While the precise identity of this young man remains unknown, his red cap with upturned brim suggests that he belongs to the Bentivoglio family of Bologna, whose men are frequently portrayed with this accessory. Costa’s service to the brilliant Bentivoglio court in the 1480s further supports this notion. The sitter’s distinctive curls set him apart from known members of the family, however, who are all depicted with straight hair. Whatever the identity of this individual, Costa observed him closely, as can be seen in the rendering of the young man’s cleft chin, fleshiness below the jawline, pouty lips, and attentive gaze.
MEDIUM Tempera and oil on poplar panel
  • Place Made: Italy
  • DATES late 15th century
    DIMENSIONS 18 7/8 x 13 in. (47.9 x 33 cm) Frame: 31 x 27 1/4 x 6 in. (78.7 x 69.2 x 15.2 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed lower left: trace of the letter "C" on parapet
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Watson B. Dickerman
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Lorenzo Costa (Italian, Ferrarese, 1460-1535). Portrait of a Man, late 15th century. Tempera and oil on poplar panel, 18 7/8 x 13 in. (47.9 x 33 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Watson B. Dickerman, 54.193 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 54.193_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 54.193_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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