Antonello's 'Portrait of a Man' is probably a relatively late work. It is likely that there was originally a parapet at the base bearing the painter's signature, but this has been removed.
The picture is often thought to be a self portrait, because the direct gaze, as if painted looking in a mirror, is typical of self portraits. X-ray photographs reveal that the eyes were originally turned the other way, which may call this idea into question.
Antonello was one of the first of the Italian artists to learn from Netherlandish art. The attention to detail and intensity of expression in the 'Portrait of a Man' are comparable to Netherlandish portraits. It is Antonello's mastery of oil paint which enables him to achieve these effects.
|artist||Antonello da Messina|
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