The Portrait of a Young Man is a painting done by Raphael. Many consider this to be a self-portrait completed by the artist around 1513 or 1514. The painting was stolen by the Germans during the second world war, and it is still missing to this day. This is one of the lasting mysteries associated with the extensive theft of art perpetrated by the Germans during WWII, as many other pieces were successfully recovered.
This portrait was oil on panel, and the many depictions that remain of this piece have been colorized as there was no color photograph taken of the piece before its theft and loss. The styling of the High Renaissance is present in this piece, and the decorous garment, the texture, and the pose all point to the portrait style that was most common during this period.
The painting was hidden for a time in Sieniawa at a private home, but the Gestapo discovered the stash of paintings and stole it from this location. The painting was last seen in January of 1945 at the home of Hans Frank, Governor of the General Government under Hitler. The painting was hanging at this time at the royal Wawel Castle. When the Germans evacuated from Krakow, it is believed that Frank took the painting with him to Silesia, but it was never recovered when Frank’s personal effects were seized at the end of the war.
On a canvas of 14.5 x 11cm, a new minting technique called “Bi-Metal Max” was applied to give this piece its remarkable weight while keeping its proportions true to the actual painting. This is made possible by combining 33.5 oz of copper as a base with a top layer of 2 oz of 999 fine Silver, resulting in a high relief. This is a limited edition of 333 pieces only. Each piece is packaged and delivered with a Certificate verifying its edition number and authenticity.