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

Grotesque Self-Portrait

Walnut oil on plaster
Camera degli Sposi, Palazzo Ducale, Mantua

The detail of the west wall shows a grotesque self-portrai of the artist.

Hidden in the foliate decor of one of the room's painted pilasters, right next to the painted plaque above the door containing the painter's dedication of the work, is a face that has been commonly identified as the artist's self-portrait. Its resemblance to the bronze portrait bust from roughly 1490 in the church of Sant'Andrea in Mantua, is unmistakable, even though this painted likeness does not wear the arrogant and somewhat surly expression that his contemporaries tell us was characteristic of the artist.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.