Portrait of a Young Man

The sitter in this painting has not been securely identified. He was formerly thought to represent a sculptor, holding a block of stone, but the object in his hands is much more likely to be a book. It has been suggested on the basis of the provenance that it might be a portrait of Giovan Battista Puccini (born 1463), who is known to have been a patron of Andrea del Sarto on other occasions. However, Puccini would have been 54 in 1517, and the sitter appears to be a younger man. More recently he has tentatively been identified as Paolo da Terrarossa, another patron of Sarto, whose family was involved in the manufacture of bricks (a novel identification of the object held by this man).

The portrait is likely to date from around 1517 when Sarto was the leading painter in Florence.

Key facts

Artist dates
1486 - 1530
Full title
Portrait of a Young Man
Date made
about 1517-18
Medium and support
Oil on linen
72.4 x 57.2 cm
Inscription summary
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1862
Inventory number
Location in Gallery