Skip to main content

Titian, 'Portrait of Gerolamo (?) Barbarigo', about 1510

Key facts
Full title Portrait of Gerolamo (?) Barbarigo
Artist Titian
Artist dates active about 1506; died 1576
Date made about 1510
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 81.2 × 66.3 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1904
Inventory number NG1944
Location Room 12
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of Gerolamo (?) Barbarigo

In this, one of Titian’s earliest portraits, the sitter turns to look at us over his shoulder and momentarily meets our gaze. Our attention is focused on the raised brow above his right eye, which is positioned midway across the picture. The man’s elbow rests on a parapet and his voluminous quilted sleeve projects into our space, creating a strong sense of his physical presence. The way in which the shadowed portions of the figure merge with the grey atmospheric background was particularly innovative. This novel and effective pose was to become highly influential in European portraiture, perhaps most famously serving as a model for Rembrandt’s Self Portrait at the Age of 34, now also in the National Gallery.

This was long believed to be a portrait of the celebrated Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto (1474–1533), and then later thought to be a self portrait by Titian. However, the man is likely to be one of Titian’s friends – a member of the aristocratic Barbarigo family.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo