(b. 1445/46, Venezia, d. 1503/5, Venezia)

Portrait of a Man

Oil on wood, 62 x 47 cm
National Gallery, London

The artist's signature and the date appear on the cartellino placed on the stone parapet. Behind the parapet a lifesize, middle-aged man wearing a blue vest is depicted. He wears a black hat that can barely be distinguished from the black background. While his body is angled, the subject's face and especially his gaze are directed toward the viewer. The dynamic effect generated by this torsion is underscored by the way the sitter grasps his robe with his left hand.

Although the individual features of the sitter have been captured with utmost realism and in great detail, it has not been possible to identify him. His blue robe could indicate that he was a scholar or member of a confraternity. The large size of the panel indicates that the portrait was destined for some official location.

This is the only portrait that can be securely ascribed to Alvise Vivarini.

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