The Tenderness of Youth is an open studio 14x14 oil by Shirley Fachilla.
The first Renaissance portraits were posed in profile. Frequently, the subjects were the very young. They were often quite literally Romeos and Juliets with their likenesses done to show a prince his potential bride (or more rarely a princess her possible husband), and sometimes sadly, to commemorate a young death.
One of my favorite places in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the gallery that contains many of these Renaissance teenagers. It’s a wonderful room for the study of interesting painting techniques, but that’s not why I love the place.
When I first took a real look around, it was a case of déjà vu; the painted faces were so like the faces of my daughter’s teenage friends. The clothes, of course, were different; but the faces were the same, tender innocent profiles, expectant and beautiful, now and more than five hundred years ago.