BELLINI, Giovanni
(b. ca. 1426, Venezia, d. 1516, Venezia)

Portrait of a Young Venetian

Oil on poplar, 32 x 26 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Lacking attributes or inscriptions, the identity of the sitter is not known. His red outer garment probably identifies him as the holder of a political office and thus distinguishes him from other members of the Venetian bourgeoisie and patriciate, who commonly wore black. The painting is probably a portrait of a senator or a council member. Everything in this picture, in which the sitter is shown in three-quarter view, directs attention to the face: the restrained colours of the background, the hair, the rather summary rendering of the clothing, and the white collar that sets off the subject's visage. The calm gaze, directed to the left, creates the impression of inner calm.