(b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma)

Portrait of Bindo Altoviti

Oil on wood, 60 x 44 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

The subject was a Florentine banker and art patron, who lived in Rome. The exquisitely graceful rendering of the subject stands alone in Raphael's extant corpus of portrait paintings. The suffused erotism that emanates from the handsome youth is pronounced to a degree unusual in Raphael's depictions of men. The seductiveness of the sitter's posture and the elegance of his attitude are brought into relief by the remarkable lighting that gives a glowing lustre to his skin and caresses it with soft shadows. The portrait reflects the artist's interest in Venetian painting.

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