Antonello da Messina (Antonello di Giovanni d'Antonio) (Italian, Sicilian, born ca. 1430, died 1479)
Oil, perhaps over tempera, on wood
16 3/4 x 12 in. (42.5 x 30.5 cm)
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931 (32.100.82)
Trained in Naples, where many Flemish paintings were available for study, Antonello was the greatest painter of the fifteenth century active in Sicily and southern Italy. This painting was in a collection in Palermo by the seventeenth century, when the date 1470 was recorded as appearing on the cartellino at the base. This date would make this the earliest extant version of a subject that Antonello treated on numerous occasions. The artist has appropriated the Flemish bust-length portrait format to increase the impact of the image.