Portrait of a Bearded Man
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Jacopo Bassano
Italian, about 1550
Oil on canvas

24 x 21 in.

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A melancholy middle-aged man with a florid complexion, a long beard, and large, watery eyes looks to the side. His head inclines to the right as though he is listening to or observing someone outside the picture frame. His small, soft, half-open mouth seems about to speak. The unknown man's slightly protuberant eyes communicate an emotional state that provokes a sympathetic response from the viewer. Jacopo Bassano emphasized the man's strong, physical presence by the darkened shadow cast against the wall on the left, the solid mass of his upper body, and the way his flesh is modeled to suggest the underlying bone structure of his skull.