|Giovanni Bellini, portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan|
The Doge Leonardo Loredan (1501-1505) by Giovanni Bellini shows how a great master can turn a formal state portrait into both a penetrating study of character and an image of beauty. ...He had a wonderful eye for a face and huge skill at getting it down on panel. He broke the old Venetian tradition that a ruler could only be presented in a formal "medal" profile, by showing the Doge Leonardo Loredan in an almost frontal position, a faultless work which many would rate one of the best half-dozen portraits ever painted.All I know is that when I look at this portrait it almost looks as if someone photographed a modern face and stuck it between the hat and cape. Simply amazing.
Paul Johnson, Art: A Modern History