This painting once formed an integral part of one of the most important works in Glasgow's collections, 'The Adulteress Brought before Christ' by Titian. This male head was detached from the main part of the painting at an unknown date, perhaps because part of the canvas directly underneath it had been damaged in some way. The knee of the man whose head this is, wearing striped hose, can still be seen at the right-hand side of the larger part of the painting. This figure is the only one in the composition as a whole who looks away from the action taking place, and out towards the viewer, leading some to enquire if it could be a self-portrait of the artist. The 'Head' is now displayed alongside the larger part of the painting, in the approximate position it would originally have occupied.
This painting, like the larger portion of the work, is important as a rare example of Titian's early work to be seen outside Italy. It was previously attributed to other Venetian artists, including Giorgione, but almost all experts now agree that it was painted by Titian.
Where to see this painting?
Glasgow Museums Resource Centre (GMRC)
Not all paintings are on display. If you want to see a particular painting, please contact the collection