The sitter has sometimes been regarded as a portrait of the Bolognese poet Gerolamo Casioa whom Boltraffio befriended during his stay in that city in 1500-2 and whose sonnets contain references to the painter. Several likenesses of Casio exist by Boltraffio and others, but none resembles the present work sufficiently to confirm this sitter's identity. The convention of portraiture in strict profile seems to have been especially strong in Milan where Boltraffio worked. This portrait can be compared with a donor portrait by Boltraffio in an altarpiece in Paris (Louvre), probably of 1500.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN