• Portrait of a Man Dressed in Black

    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    104,5х85,5 cm

Portrait of a Man Dressed in Black

Italy, First half of the 16th century

The subject of this portrait is the celebrated Flemish physician and anatomist Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564), a professor of the universities of Padua, Bologna and Pisa. He had a very special relationship with Jan Steven van Calcar, an artist from the Low Countries for whom, like Vesalius, Italy had become a second homeland. Calcar trained under Jan van Scorel and then worked in Titian’s studio, adopting many of that master’s techniques in portraiture. The composition of this painting is typical for a formal portrait intended to underline the status and worthiness of the model. Vesalius is presented in the proud pose of a self-confident man, his right hand on his hip, the left gripping a glove as he leans on a marble pedestal embellished with a bas-relief. The source of light entering from above brings out the play of folds in the green velvet curtain and the black silk clothing, while the deep shadow cast on the wall gives volume to the figure. The chiaroscuro modelling of the face emphasizes its expressiveness: the look of the large dark eyes gazing straight out at the viewer, the stubbornly compressed lips, the regular shape of the brows and the straight nose. The Renaissance era gave the world not only brilliant artists, but also scientific geniuses of comparable greatness, such as Andreas Vesalius, the founding father of scientific anatomy. It is enough to note that he published his famous atlas of the human body when he was just 28 years old! And Jan van Calcar painted this portrait of him at about that same time.

Title:

Portrait of a Man Dressed in Black

Place:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

104,5х85,5 cm

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-1479

Category:

Collection: