BOLTRAFFIO, Giovanni Antonio
(b. ca. 1467, Milano, d. 1516, Milano)

Portrait of Gerolamo Casio

c. 1495
Oil on panel, 52 x 43 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

The verses written on the paper are from a work by Gerolamo Casio (1464-1533). Casio, a bizarre personality, was a merchant and troubadour of humble origin, who became one of the most popular and celebrated poets of his time.

Consciously "humanistic" and commemorative, this portrait is based on the classical models of the time, but shows some uncertainty in compositional balance, especially in the placing of the hand in the same plane as the face. However, the uniqueness of the composition, slightly displaced to the right of the spectator, rescues the work from any monotonous effect. It also plays up the colour values, which are displayed in broad, polished, well-defined areas.