Young Knight in a Landscape , Vittore Carpaccio
Young Knight in a Landscape is one of the earliest examples of a full-length portrait in European painting. The canvas, signed and dated by Carpaccio on a cartellino to the right of the figure, was attributed to Dürer until 1919. A number of hypotheses have been advanced regarding the identity of the figure. The motto Malo mori quam foedari (better to die than be defiled) placed beside a short-tailed weasel suggests that he may be a knight of the Order of the Ermine. The most widely-accepted view, however, is that the knight was in fact Francesco Maria della Rovere, 3rd Duke of Urbino. There is something rather troubling about both the young knight, dressed in armour and about to unsheathe his sword, and the landscape in which he is placed, with its meticulously-executed flora and fauna containing allusions to good and evil.