LORENZO DI CREDI
(b. ca. 1459, Firenze, d. 1537, Firenze)
Portrait of a Manc. 1504
Oil on wood, 51 x 37 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
This splendid portrait - at the Uffizi since 1704 - has been much discussed, as the painter and the figure have been mysterious for a long time: it once was thought to be Martin Luther painted by Holbein, then Andrea del Verrocchio by Lorenzo di Credi, or again a portrait of unknown man. The comparison with the Pietro Perugino's self-portrait painted in the Collegio del Cambio at Perugia led to the identification as Pietro Perugino, and the attribution went to his most celebrated pupil, Raphael. Recently the attribution to Lorenzo di Credi was again proposed.
Both the identity of the sitter and the authorship of the painting are still matters of debate. The attribution to Raphael is supported by the majority of contemporary scholars.
In the painting, particularly noticeable is the influence of North European portrait-painting, in the realistic rendering of the face, in the characterization of the man, but above all in the insertion of the figure in the narrow confines of an interior, with a small window offering the partial view of a distant landscape.