Two portraits by Antonello da Messina

Museo Mandralisca
Italy, Cefalù
June 8, 2019 - November 26, 2019

Days of exhibition

The Portrait of a Man by Antonello da Messina from the Museo Mandralisca in Cefalù is often requested on loan. Its fame is also connected the novel by Vincenzo Consolo: “The smile of the unknown sailor”. For this focused presentation the work is joined by another masterpiece by the artist, the Portrait of a Man from the Pinacoteca Malaspina in Pavia. The narrative developed by curator Giovanni C.F. Villa sees the two portraits hanging in front of each other. The difference in their respective moods testifies how Antonello, more than anybody else, knew how to imbue emotion in his subjects. The Malaspina portrait dates before Antonello’s visit to Venice, between 1475 and 1476. However, Antonello had already codified his “bourgeois portrait” model, which was portable and of small dimensions. Drawing from Flemish art, which the artist knew well, Antonello adds layers of psychological introspection.


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Two portraits by Antonello da Messina

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