The critical adventure of Agostino Carracci, to whom this work is attributed, is inexorably far from the fate of his younger brother Hannibal, the acknowledged leader of the Bolognese and Emilian art in the late sixteenth century. However, the talent of Agostino, who was also an excellent engraver, is not at all insignificant, although it develops more calmly than the brilliant inventions of his brother’s realism. Thus, in this beautiful portrait of a gentleman, we discover a frank adhesion to the subtle movements of the soul which the motionless face suggests and implies. Indeed, in a certain way, Agostino advocates a more modern art, making it so that the painting’s details, although seemingly conventional, have a direct impact on the viewer, suggesting more than describing. We can also see some similarities between this small painting and one of the arist's masterpieces: his self-portrait in the guise of a watchmaker. The bizarre union of attitude and passion shows us how attentive the painter was to the subtle but relentless rhythm that pervades our existences, translating this into a balance of colors capable of conveying a truthful image of life.


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