Nov 27, 2006

Portrait of a Young Man with a Skull

Portrait of a Young Man with a Skull

c. 1519

Lucas van Leyden

(Dutch, 1494–1533)


Sheet: 18.6 x 14.6 cm (7 5/16 x 5 3/4 in.)

The Mary Spedding Milliken Memorial Collection, Gift of William Mathewson Milliken 1941.297

Catalogue raisonné: Hollstein 174



Dressed in exceptionally fine attire––fancy plumes, brocade collar, and slashed sleeves––this young man solemnly points at a skull he is carrying in his cloak. The juxtaposition of the skull and the lavish clothing is a message that frivolous pleasures are misguided and the bravado of youth is ephemeral.

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