~ Detail of Frodo in Bronzino's "Portrait of an Unknown Man"
Just when I was supposed to be working on something else, I stumbled across a lovely portrait by a wonderful Italian portrait painter of the 16th century, Agnolo Bronzino. The pose, the lighting, the colours, the sheer expertise of the painting: I loved it all. I wondered at once how it would do as a Frodo manip....
The original "unknown man" looks very aristocratic, very fashionable -- and how he knows it. He looks quite full of himself, as you will see if you look at him in the Bronzino portrait. I think it is ironic that although his face lives on, his name has been forgotten. He is merely the "Unknown Man."
Imagining it as a Frodo art manip, I knew I wanted to alter the mood of the painting, so I would need a very different sort of Frodo face. I finally chose a screencap from the "parting smile" sequence, when Frodo is boarding the ship for the Grey Havens.
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In spite of the Tudor-era suit of clothes, the resulting "painting" makes a very nice portrait of Mr. Baggins of Bag End. Or perhaps it is Iorhael that is portrayed, Prince of the Halflings. And those are Elvish togs he is wearing, presented by the Elrond to his guest of honour, the hero of the great War of the Ring.
In any case, the supercilious, off-putting dandy has disappeared. Instead, the portrait shows a young man whose open, almost inquiring expression invites the viewer in. Good humour seems to sparkle just behind those eyes, a witticism beginning to gather the corners of his mouth into a smile.
I think I'm in love.
~ Frodo as painted by Agnolo Bronzino, c. 1540:
This is just to show I can still do a manip in which Frodo is dressed.
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