Portrait of a young man in the image of St. Sebastian, Antonio Boltrafio

Portrait of a young man in the image of St. Sebastian, Antonio Boltrafio
Portrait of a young man in the image of St. Sebastian, Antonio Boltrafio - 1

  • Posted by Giovanni Antonio Boltrafio
  • Museum: Museum of Fine Arts. Pushkin
  • Year: End of the 1490s

Overview of the painting :

Portrait of a young man in the image of St. Sebastian – Giovanni Antonio Boltrafio. The end of the 1490s. Oil on temperate (transferred from wood). 48×36
   In the painting of Boltrafio (about 1467-1516) “Portrait of a young man in the image of St. Sebastian”, the Renaissance ideas about a person are fully embodied. In the modeling of a face shaded by a smoke of transparent luminaries, the influence of Leonardo da Vinci is noticeable, in the Milan workshop of which Boltrafio studied and worked for a long time.

   The portrait depicts a secular young man, only the arrow-attribute of St. Sebastian (a real historical figure of the era of Emperor Diocletian) points to the Christian history of martyrdom. The composition of the picture, the three-fourth turn of the figure, the look of the model, facing directly to the viewer – all these features were characteristic of Leonardo’s work. In the transmission of features, the famous pechumato technique invented by him was used, in which subtle transitions of light-shift gradations gave some elusiveness and variability to the expression of the face, thereby emphasizing the complexity of the spiritual world of the human person.