(b. 1445, Firenze, d. 1510, Firenze)

Portrait of a Young Man

Tempera on panel, 41 x 31 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

In this portrait Botticelli goes beyond the mere tracing of physical appearance and penetrates into the world of human emotion. He uses the turn of the head, glance of the eye, and form of the hand to create a reflective mood in which one can sense the presence of mixed emotion - that most delicate of human experiences - which is felt as youth passes into manhood, the mingling of expectation and sadness.