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Portrait of a Young Man

Rosso Fiorentino Italian

Not on view

This portrait was likely painted during a summer that Rosso and the sculptor Benvenuto Cellini spent with the counts of Anguillara in the town of Cerveteri, outside Rome, in either 1524 or 1525. The youth may be Giampaolo dell’Anguillara, a soldier who worked on behalf of Pope Clement VII in the lead-up to the sack of Rome, and the work might have been left incomplete when the artist had to flee the city as troops entered it in May 1527. Part of the fascination with this intense image resides in the contrast between the fully worked areas of the youth’s head and chemise and the unresolved nature of much of the rest of the figure. It is one of a number of works by Rosso from the first half of the 1520s that were left incomplete, or not brought to the usual level of finish, but whose importance seems to have been accepted by contemporaries regardless.

Portrait of a Young Man, Rosso Fiorentino (Italian, Florence 1494–1540 Fontainebleau), Oil on panel

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