HOLBEIN, Ambrosius
(b. 1495, Augsburg, d. 1519, Augsburg)

Portrait of a Young Man

Oil on wood, 43 x 32 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

As indicated by the Latin inscription in the cartouche that gives the date of the portrait, the subject was 20 years old. The composition, the turn of the figure, and the asymmetrical cropping of the arch give grounds for suggesting that originally this was a double portrait. If customary practice is a guide, the missing part of the painting may have been a depiction of the man's wife or bride-to-be.

The painting shows the influence of Hans Holbein, the painter's elder brother. The identity of the sitter is not known.