PARMIGIANINO
(b. 1503, Parma, d. 1540, Casal Maggiore)

Portrait of a Man

1528-30
Oil on wood, 52 x 42 cm
Galleria Borghese, Rome

The extraordinary intensity of the sitter's expression is achieved through the use of a naturalistic language, with no attempt to idealize the face, but one which is at the same time capable of conveying penetrating psychological insight and a subtle sense of disquiet.

The panel is an example of the painter's gift as a portraitist and bears witness to a crucial moment in his artistic development, influenced by his study of Raphael and Michelangelo in the months that preceded the dramatic Sack of Rome in 1527.