Agnolo di Domenico del Mazziere or Donnino di Domenico del Mazziere|
Agnolo di Domenico del Mazziere (painter)
Florentine, 1466 - 1513
Donnino di Domenico del Mazziere (painter)
Florentine, 1460 - after 1515
Portrait of a Youth, c. 1495/1500
oil on panel transferred to canvas and solid support
painted surface: 51.5 x 34 cm (20 1/4 x 13 3/8 in.) overall: 52.5 x 35 cm (20 11/16 x 13 3/4 in.) framed: 73.7 x 56.5 x 6.4 cm (29 x 22 1/4 x 2 1/2 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
Object 5 of 6
The Mazziere brothers ran a significant workshop in Florence in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, but were known only through mentions in archives. It was not until 1988 that scholars were able to link them with actual paintings and drawings, which up to that time had been assigned to an unidentified artist called the "Master of Santo Spirito." The workshop seems to have eagerly adopted innovations—for example, this sitter, like Leonardo's Ginevra de' Benci, is posed against a deep landscape and sky.
The unidentified youth wears a tight-fitting red doublet of the type that came into fashion at the end of the fifteenth century. The slits in the arms of this doublet not only show off the fine quality of the young man's chemise, but they were also probably needed for full range of motion.
Much of Florence's wealth was based on textiles, and an appreciation for fine silk and woolen cloth was regarded as something of a Florentine birthright. Seven guilds oversaw the production of everything from wool berets, like the one worn by the youth in the painting, to shoe soles. It has been estimated that a weaver of brocaded velvets, the most luxurious fabric available, earned more in a year than the architect Brunelleschi, who designed the dome for Florence's cathedral. The color red, used for some official garments in Florence, was produced by a range of dyes. The most expensive red cloth, chermisi, was dyed with a pigment made from insects. Cardinals wore the same red, though only after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 cut off supplies of the even more rare purple dye derived from murex shells.
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