Portrait of a Man in a Red Cap

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
Pieve di Cadore 1488/90–1576 Venice
Portrait of a Man in a Red Cap, ca. 1510
Oil on canvas
32 3/8 x 28 in. (82.2 x 71.1 cm)
The Frick Collection; Henry Clay Frick Bequest

An early work by Titian, this portrait exemplifies the luminous, lyrical painting style of Venetian artists of the sixteenth century. Masterful paint handling creates the illusion of soft fur, gold satin, and the red fabric (perhaps felt) of the sitter’s fashionable cap. With dark eyes that seem to look into the distance, the young man wears an expression that signals a deep, reflective interiority. One gloved hand lingers on the hilt of his sword. His features are particular but also idealized, and with his pensive countenance, he epitomizes Renaissance ideals of poetic male beauty.