(b. 1397, Firenze, d. 1475, Firenze)

Portrait of a Man

Tempera on poplar panel, 42 x 33 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

In the early 15th century the profile likeness was the most favoured type of portrait, partly because salient features can be delineated with more precision in the side view. Thus in this example, although it is difficult to judge the expression or mood of the unknown aristocrat, we have an exact record of his physical appearance.

This painting can be linked with Masaccio's portrait in Boston, and with a portrait in Chambéry attributed to Paolo Uccello; therefore it is often attributed to Masaccio. The present painting seems to occupy an intermediate position between the Boston and Chambéry portraits, the former being considered as the prototype.

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