DÜRER, Albrecht
(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)

Portrait of a Young Man

Oil on panel, 50 x 40 cm
Palazzo Rosso, Genoa

Inscription at the top, monogrammed and writing: ALBERTUS DÜRER GERMANUS FACIEBAT POST VIRGINIS PARTUM 1506.

The restoration carried out of after the Second World War involved the removal of the opaque varnish that protected this painting and revealed it to be much better preserved than was previously thought. Nevertheless, the face is not finished, and it appears slightly flat, despite the vivaciousness of the eyes. The contrast of the colours of the clothing and beret (charcoal and black, respectively) against the green background elicits a remarkable effect. So does the gentle depiction of the face framed by soft, chestnut hair. The portrait, which can be considered typical of the era, can be dated accurately: a letter that Dürer sent at that time from Venice to Willibald Pirckheimer makes clear that it must have been carried out between 23 September 1506, and 23 October 1506, that is, after the Feast of the Rose Garlands (Národní Galerie, Prague) and before the Madonna with the Siskin (Staatliche Museen, Berlin).