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

Self-portrait in the style of Medusa

c. 1474
Pen, brush, part iron gall ink, browned white paper, 124 x 99 mm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

The mediocre condition of the drawing is due to the lengthy periods of display, first in the Corridor and then in the Gallery, which accelerated the process of deterioration in the iron gall ink. However, the strokes using parallel lines of different thickness, rapidly sketching out the facial features, at times interspersed with the wider, more fluid brush strokes used to portray the airy nature of the hair and the softness of the band on the forehead, make it obvious how formal synthesis betrays a secure, lively hand. A face and its expression are effectively portrayed with just a few strokes of a pen and brush, alternated in a rather calibrated manner.

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