Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, 1467-1516
Portrait of a Youth Holding an Arrow, ca. 1500-10
Oil on wood panel, 49.7 x 35.4 cm (19-5/8 x 14 in.)
Portrait of a Youth Holding an Arrow was painted by Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci, who was active mainly in Milan and was particularly noted as a portrait painter. The painting was purchased by Lord Elgin, a Scottish nobleman and diplomat, known primarily for the removal of marble sculptures - also known as the Elgin Marbles - from the Parthenon in Athens. When purchased by Lord Elgin in 1806, this painting was described as "Portrait of Francois de Melzo who appears here in the costume of Apollo." Further research has revealed the androgynous figure suggests an allegorical theme rather than a realistic portrait. If you would like to learn more about Lord Elgin and the Parthenon relief sculptures, visit the TImken's special exhibition, An Archaeologist's Eye: The Parthenon Drawings of Katherine A. Schwab.
View Portrait of a Youth Holding an Arrow in the Collection.