BERNINI, Gian Lorenzo
(b. 1598, Napoli, d. 1680, Roma)

Self-Portrait as a Young Man

c. 1623
Oil on canvas, 38 x 30 cm
Galleria Borghese, Rome

This self-portrait was painted when the artist was about twenty-five years old, when he sculpted the David, and Apollo and Daphne.

This particular painting is of paramount importance to any attempt to reconstruct the young Bernini's oeuvre of paintings. The nervous rapidity of the brushstrokes and quick flash of his eyes reveal his desire to capture expression in an instant. He did this systematically in his sculpted portraits.