Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap
Sandro Botticelli, real name Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, was one of the greatest painters of the Florentine Renaissance. His work, Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap, captures his highly personalized style. He is known for his execution and precise use of lines to portray objects realistically. The Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap will be the source of our discussion, but first a background of Sandro Botticelli's artistic relations is necessary.
Botticelli was born in Florence Italy (1445-1510) and worked as an apprentice to a goldsmith early in his career. He then served as an apprentice to the painter Fra Fillippo Lippi. After working with Lippi, Botticelli developed his sense of line working with Andrea del Verrocchio. By 1470 he had his own workshop, where he spent most of his time producing pieces for the Medici family. It was through the Medici family that Botticelli was influenced by Christian Neoplatonism, which exemplified Christian views. From this point Botticelli developed such works as the Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap.
The painting, which is quite simple in nature, depicts nothing more than the bust of a teenage boy with a red hat on. The boy is uniquely outlined on each side with the right side of his body gently fading into a black backdrop and the left having a sharp and precise line separating him from the black. As the viewer may notice, the young man does not pose any facial gesture which may depict emotion. It is therefore almost impossible to know the feelings of Botticelli's subject. Many feel that Botticelli was merely documenting the boy's physical appearance without evoking feeling from his viewers. Botticelli also used much more detail on his face than he did on the clothing of the young man, which supports that it is a portrait. He uses tones of red from the sharp hat to the tones of his skin. A brown color is used to unify his hair, lips, and eyes. The boy's...
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