Portrait of Tommaso Inghirami

Portrait of Tommaso Inghirami
Artist Raphael
Year 1509
Medium Oil on wood
Dimensions 36 in × 24 in
91 cm × 61 cm

Around 1509, Raphael created a portrait for a friend and the chief librarian of the Vatican, Tomasso Inghirami. A humanist scholar and given with talents for oratory and theatrical performace, Inghirami has imperfections such as being obese and a condition called strabismus or wandering eye.

Raphael drew the scholar in a posture that minimizes focus on his physical imperfections but does not remove them from the painting. He did it with the prelate looking upwards as if praying or asking for spiritual guidance, but slightly made the right eye look in a different manner. He also does not change the Inghirami’s broad build but contrasts his red suit with a jet black background to create a sense of depth and space. Art critics say that the picturesque representation by Raphael is reminiscent of the painter, Hans Holbein.

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