(b. 1401, San Giovanni Valdarno, d. 1428, Roma)

Profile of a Man

Tempera on wood, 41 x 30 cm
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

The painting is in a poor state of conservation, the colours have altered dramatically. However, the portrait has an extraordinary presence. The face, defined by its sharp contour, is modeled like sculpture. The three-dimensional effect of the mazzocchio (the turban) is emphasized by being cut at the right edge of the picture. The portrait can be compared with various portraits by Masaccio in the Brancacci Chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, especially the bystanders in the scene of St Peter preaching. This comparison points to a date about 1426-27, making this panel the earliest surviving independent portrait in fifteenth-century Florence.

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