(b. 1431, Isola di Carturo, d. 1506, Mantova)
Portrait of a Man1470-75
Black chalk on discoloured grayish brown paper, 339 x 235 mm
Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie, Besançon
The study of a man with black cap is entirely characteristic of Mantegna. (The cap was restored with gray-black wash.) The sheet is badly rubbed and has been reduced on all sides, but the sculptural and expressive resonance of the image is still present and deeply affecting. The technique, with lively parallel chalk strokes, is typical of Mantegna, as is the expressive clarity of both form and psychology.