Throughout the history of art, few artists have articulated beauty as an ideal as dramatically as Sandro Botticelli.
In studying the Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Roundel, the first place my eyes fixate on are his hands. I’ve always found hands and their complexities to be the “soup” of portraiture. A chef’s capabilities should always be judged upon their soup sensibilities – for a masterful soup remains unnoticed in order to quietly enhance the main dish. And here, Botticelli created a set of hands that are both smooth and seemingly three-dimensional in an otherworldly manner. The fingers are arranged and balanced in such a way that unknowingly guides our focus directly into the boy’s gaze. The main course.