A pair of brown eyes look steadily out at us. They don't give away any particular emotion. Their slight irregularity in height and shape suggests an individual rather than an idealisation.
But are these eyes really looking at Botticelli as he paints?
Botticelli is perhaps most famous for his paintings of Classical myth: the Uffizi's 'The Birth of Venus' and 'La Primavera' are magnets for any tourist in Florence, but he was also well known for his portraits.
Mythical and real subjects share some traits typical of Botticelli, the wavy hair with its strong outline, a rather inscrutable expression and an obvious appreciation of aesthetics.
The sitter's clothes, their colour and relative simplicity, complement the muted tones of the painting. There's no showing off or hinting at identity or profession. Perhaps this is the very practical outfit of someone in Botticelli's workshop. It's so unadorned, the metal caps on the ties around his neck become quite a feature.
As we create a persona for this young man, it niggles that we don't know who he is.
Perhaps the feature that makes this face so interesting is the mouth.
Is this the mouth of an immortal? Or do these unevenly balanced lips belong to someone real?
We'll probably never know.