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His pupils are inset with lead to give sharpness to his gaze, suggesting shrewdness.His hair is close-cropped, defined with incised chisel lines, as seen on busts of Roman Republicans. XLIIII (Francesco Sassetti, citizen of Florence, in his forty-fourth year), places the portrait at approximately 1464.Portraits of this type depicted women of various levels of social standing.
1560, most likely would have been intended to decorate one of the public rooms of a family’s palace.
Her dress is extraordinary: the velvet gown, of a rich, delicate blue, is adorned with gold ornaments at the shoulders and waist.
The sculpted portrait of the Florentine banker , conveys a forceful presence by incorporating a number of elements drawn from antique Roman portraiture.
Sassetti’s features in this work are highly realistic—he has a large nose and a creased and jowly face.
Men of learning played a new and important role by also providing advice on the intricacies of self-fashioning. A portrait could function as a way of announcing one’s piety, virtue, learning, and prosperity—or even one’s inner soul. The standard background for these portraits was a brilliant blue sky streaked with clouds, which suggested an outdoor setting, the sitter, as it were, belonging to the world at large.
In the early fifteenth century the value of portraiture was already being promoted through influential texts. Thus the face of a man who is already dead certainly lives a long life through your portrait, painted by Raphael’s hand, bringing back your features, comes near to relieving my sorrows. This portrait type could be adapted in numerous ways.
Draped over the shoulders of the bride is a gold chain made up of many links, which was known as a “bond of love.” Around her neck is a cameo of the Roman empress Faustina the Elder, wife of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius and famed in literature as a devoted wife.
Both bride and groom look out directly at the viewer as if to call attention to the importance of the action taking place.
The act of linking the pair is transmitted metaphorically by way of a smiling cupid, crowned with laurel and supplied with a well-equipped quiver that holds his bow and a good supply of sharpened arrows.
To underscore the message that this union is one of promise and virtue, cupid positions a yoke—symbol of the union of marriage—behind the couple as he places a sprig of laurel—symbol of virtue—on the shoulder of each party.