Portrait of a man with a medal by Sandro Botticelli

Portrait of a man with a medal by Sandro Botticelli

Painting by artist Sandro Botticelli “Portrait of a man with the medal of Cosimo de Medici Elder”. The size of the picture is 57.5 x 44 cm, wood, tempera. The legacy of Cardinal Carlo de ‘Medici. Botticelli uses here a new type of portrait. The artist presents his model in the front, half-figured, against the background of the sky and the landscape.

This construction comes from the Dutch painting of the XV century, a close composition is the artist Hans Memling. It gives great opportunities for revealing the psychological significance of the image. Idealizing the portrait, softening the

features of his face, Botticelli also notes his individual characteristics: clarity of view, firmness of the fold of the mouth, clarity of the contour of the face. The emphasis is on the transfer of inner life. Its intensity is reflected in the hidden tension of the face and in the gesture of the hands, with a nervous effort holding the medal.

Red and black in the costume depicted create a strong color chord. Emotional overtones in the composition are also brought by the space surrounding the figure with a brightened sky and wriggling lines of landscape. Researchers of Botticelli’s creativity expressed many assumptions about who is portrayed in the Portrait of a Man with Cosimo de Medici Medal.

According to one of the hypotheses, based on the physiognomic similarity between the self-portrait of Sandro Botticelli in the “Adoration of the Magi” and the model of this work, here is the brother of the artist Antonio, who produced medals for the Medici family.

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