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Various identities for the richly dressed young man in this portrait have been proposed, but none with any certainty. Nevertheless, the portrait seems to have been well known, at least in the seventeenth century; Carlo Dolci included a copy of the figure in the background of his Martyrdom of St. Andrew (Palazzo Pitti, Florence). The painting is generally considered an early work of Titian. The contemplative mood of the subject and the diffused, gentle play of light over the broadly painted surfaces are strongly reminiscent of Titian’s Venetian contemporary Giorgione. The canvas has in the past even been attributed to Giorgione. In mood, pose, and technique, the Frick portrait closely resembles the central figure of The Concert (Palazzo Pitti), a painting that also has been ascribed both to Titian and to Giorgione.

Source: Art in The Frick Collection: Paintings, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996

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