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Portrait of a Man in Profile
Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio
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The man in this portrait was once thought to be Gerolamo Casio, a poet from Bologna. He and Boltraffio knew one another and Casio even mentioned Boltraffio’s skill at painting in his sonnets.

This attractive idea is now doubted, but there’s no question that the work is by Boltraffio. One of Leonardo’s apprentices in Milan, Boltraffio adopted his master’s style more faithfully than any of his other students. His use of shadow to model the man’s jowls and the flesh of his nose resembles the style Leonardo developed in Milan. The profile view was outdated in most of Italy when this was painted – Leonardo himself favoured a broader view of his sitters' faces – but the Milanese courts were a little more conservative, so it persisted there for longer.

Key facts
Artist Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio
Artist dates about 1467 - 1516
Full title Portrait of a Man in Profile
Date made probably about 1500
Medium and support Oil on walnut
Dimensions 57.5 x 43 cm
Acquisition credit Mond Bequest, 1924
Inventory number NG3916
Location in Gallery Gallery A: Paintings 1250-1600
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