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Portrait of a Young Man

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Inna Novoseltseva

ARTD.1010 F11

Brooklyn College Fall 2015

Joseph Henry


Portrait of a Young Man

        Angolo Bronzino was the author of Portrait of a Young Man. The portrait was painted between the years of 1503-1572. I selected this portrait because of the self-confidence, at first look, of the young gentleman that is represented. After reviewing the portrait for a significant amount of time I began to notice potential sadness or uncertainty in the young man’s face that deceives his powerful position. It was like to present a dominant external portrait while knowing there was a self-conscious and fearful being inside.

        Looking at the painting, the first thing that I noticed was the great points and the structure of the painting. The placement of the lines for the doors gave the room a square feel. I mostly liked how the viewpoint of the table was balance from the walls in the room. Bronzino did very well with the detail in this painting. The representation is of a young man standing between a table and a chair, holding a book. He has on a black jacket, with the grace of the sixteenth century, and we see piece of a white collar and cuffs is glancing out of his sleeve. He is also wearing a black beret. The table and chair in this painting are both typical for this time period. On the table, it looks to be a stretched face of a man in a hat, carved on the corner of table. The chair has a similar design of a man's face but it is less distorted. The walls are a cream almost a green color, with a door behind the man with a natural wood tone. The door is framed in blue off setting it from the walls in the painting. 
          Bronzino did very well with the table in this piece of art making it look like silk cloth stretched tight rather than stone. By using the soft red tones with the highlights in white and perfect shading, he made the table appear to be very smooth. Along with that Bronzino used the color to do a lot more. With the walls using a subtle green color with smooth brush strokes gave the impression of smooth seamless walls. The extreme detail in the doublet is what I liked most; the use of color, deep lines, and highlights gave it a vivid, almost real look. The doublet was done so well that you can see where the sleeves bulge out and where they begin to get tight again around the man's wrist. 
         Oil and wood was typical for the time period, however his personal touch and great use of the medium, is what gave this painting such a well detailed appearance. The realism and emphasis of detail in the man's face and clothing is what first caught my eye. As I looked closer the visual texture of the painting made me want to touch the painting. Bronzino's use of space in this painting was enhanced only by its explicit detail, or in this case the lack of. Making the walls and other objects smooth and lacking detail, made the young man really the main forces of this painting. 
         This painting was done in Florence, Italy during the Early Renaissance period. This painting, like others of this time period, have a retinal relationship with all objects in the painting. The man and other objects are proportional to the backgrounds with a fading linear perspective. With extreme detail at the bottom of the painting but as it visually reseeds back into the painting the detail fades; giving a very well depiction of space in the painting. Bronzino did very well pulling you into the painting as if you were standing right in front of the man posing for the painting.
         This portrait is very well displayed. By hanging it was with other oil paintings you could really see the wonderful use of color and surface in the painting. It also showed his advanced skill in depicting the physical features of the man sitting for the painting. The height off the ground was about six feet which made it look as if the man was looking directly out at you. Over all the framing and positioning of this painting was typical for the museum.
         This painting really brought me in from the very beginning. From the moment I walked in to the room at the museum I was drawn to it by the detail and elaborate framing. As I moved closer I noticed the texture of the painting that made me really want to reach out and feel some of the surfaces. They were so well depicted that they looked smooth, because of the smooth brush strokes. From there I noticed the linear perspective, and how the table was at such an angle that it stood out from everything else. Also, the detail and general appearance in the man and his clothing was particularly exceptional. He used a dark color for the doublet but by using lighter and darker shades he give the top more realistic feel. The overall detail of this painting is remarkable.                                                                         The painting contains characteristics of the mannerist period. The man conveys an attitude toward us, as if he is the best. The configuration itself has "hidden" grotesques all over. The man’s eyes are purposely distorted; one eye is looking straight out, while the other is looking towards the side. This detail is making this piece very mannerist.



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