(b. 1431, Isola di Carturo, d. 1506, Mantova)

Portrait of a Man

c. 1470
Tempera on hardboard transferred from panel, 24 x 19 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Mantegna was the dominant figure of the Paduan school. His severe and precise style combines the Florentines' direct observation of nature with a subtlety of colour tracable to the influence of his Venetian brother-in-law Giovanni Bellini. Underlying these influences is also a sense of classic monumentality, derived from his close study of antique sculpture.