Portrait of a bearded man, half-length,
oil on canvas, 79 x 59.5 cm, framed
Private collection, Bologna
The present painting portrays a young man half-length, shown in three-quarter profile and gazing out of the canvas , as though trying to establish a silent dialogue with the viewer. He has dark hair and a bushy beard, and is dressed in black, with a white collar standing out in contrast. Roberto Longhi (written communication, dated 1958 available in photocopy) already noted the simplicity and sobriety of the composition, and also remarked on the “frankness” with which the sitter emerges from the grey background.
Of high quality, the work belongs to Tintoretto’s early period, during which his output was characterised by portraits painted in dark tones, devoid of any decorative detail, in which the artist’s attention was focused on exploring the faces of his subjects. In this case he conveys the rosy complexion and penetrating gaze. For this production, the young Tintoretto must have certainly looked at Titian’s numerous portraits, although he preferred to abandon their extraneous poise and dignity in favour of a more intense psychological investigation. There are also some probable mannerist references, like the elegant examples by Francesco Salviati. A portrait by Tintoretto, present in the online archive of the von Nemes collection in Budapest, might be of the same sitter as in the present painting but at an older age.
This relaxed and serene period of portrait painting by Tintoretto developed as he focused on the inmost character of his sitters, in an artistic interpretation of the concerns and anxieties of contemporary Venetian society.
Infrared reflectogram, detail
Specialist: Mark MacDonnell
realized price**EUR 81,250USD 88,500
estimateEUR 80,000 to 120,000USD 87,000 to 130,500
Old Master Paintings
Date: 18.10.2016, 17:00
Location: Palais Dorotheum Vienna
Exhibition: 08.10. - 18.10.2016
**Purchase price incl. all charges, commissions and taxes
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