Young man holding a Botticelli medallion

Young man holding a Botticelli medallion
Young man holding a Botticelli medallion
Anonim

Sandro Botticelli has gone down in Art History thanks to some of the most delicate and sensual works of Renaissance painting. Obviously we are talking about his fabulous paintings of La Primavera or The Birth of Venus. However, before he made his masterpieces he made other types of paintings. And for a time he devoted himself to making portraits. A genre that he worked especially between the years 1470 and 1480.

picture

Young man holding a Botticelli medallion

Of all that portrait production, the truth is that only a small part of it has survived to this day. And in many cases they are portraits in which we ignore the exact identity of the models. A good example would be Portrait of a Stranger or this unique Young Man Holding a Medallion. A work that has recently been auctioned and has reached a record price of more than 90 million euros.

There are certain similarities between both portraits. To begin with, because in both cases it is a male effigy in which the sitter is shown to us as a bust. The paintings are of similar dates and in neither of the two is it known who posed for Botticelli or who commissioned it, although in both works it is speculated that they were works for some member of the powerful Florentine family of the Medicis.

And finally there is anothersimilarity that is immediately obvious, and it is the presence of that medallion with the effigy of a saint. Although it seems that this part was a later addition, hence that peculiar trompe l'oeil, with the hand that seems to come out of the frame.

The fact is that this type of presentation was enormously successful in its time, and in a way it was somewhat revolutionary, since Botticelli was one of the first painters who dared to transgress the classic norm of making profile portraits, something that was still being done in Renaissance times and just look at the famous effigies of the Dukes of Urbino painted by Piero della Francesca, another innovator of the art of the Renaissance Quattrocento.

But returning to Botticelli's work, despite being a work of youth, the great character of this painter advanced in his time is seen. Something that manifests itself in various ways. On the one hand, he knows how to pour the entire ideal of Apollonian beauty into his portrait, just as he will do in his most famous works with female models. And what's more, the background based on blue tones and rectangular shapes is striking, creating curious frames and reframing, which is absolutely modern.

Popular topic