Raffaello Sanzio

Double portrait

77 x 111 cm; oil on canvas (FC 130)

Despite different interpretations, the painting actually depicts Beazzano and Navagero, portrayed with stunning skill. The likeness was taken when they were on a trip to Rome. The painting belonged to one of the subjects, and then passed to Bembo, where it was noted by Michiel. The portrait must have created a sensation amongst the eminent Venetian gentlemen of the time. The style adopted by Raffaello in this painting with superb confidence is also Venetian, so much so in fact that a 19th century scholar talked of it being a Venetian copy. Dated around 1516, the piece returned to Rome with the Aldobrandini collection. It is possible that Sebastiano dal Piombo had a hand in the painting at times, given the violent lyrical and technical starkness of the two protagonists. The canvas was originally affixed to a wood panel, in accordance with a technique of preservation that was used in various other instances at that time.

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