Rosso Fiorentino (artist)|
Florentine, 1494 - 1540
Portrait of a Man, early 1520s
oil on panel
overall: 88.7 x 67.9 cm (34 15/16 x 26 3/4 in.) framed: 119.4 x 97.5 x 10.2 cm (47 x 38 3/8 x 4 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
Object 2 of 8
This portrait is less precisely detailed, less “objective,” than others in this room, partly as the result of Rosso’s technique. To a greater extent than most of his contemporaries in Florence, Rosso left his brushstrokes visible. This man holds none of the attributes that normally help define a sitter’s persona; his character is established by his strongly projecting elbow. Light rakes across it and seems to push his gesture to the front of the picture plane. The image crowds the panel. Such concentration and stylization complement the man’s expression, which is at once haughty and slightly sad and may reflect an ideal of male deportment.
Rosso—he was called “the red” for his red hair—probably painted this not long before the artist left to work in Fontainebleau. In Italy, Rosso’s personal, introverted style did not exert much influence, but in France it was an important starting point for mannerism in the North.
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