In this self-portrait, Francesco de Mura presents himself as a man of great standing and elegance. Dressed in sumptuous clothing, he surrounds himself with traditional symbols of wealth and grandeur, like the billowing drapery, monumental colonnade, and marble-topped gold table beside him. The artist’s drawing tools are also on prominent display, which serve to emphasize his intellectual prowess. Traditionally, the medium of drawing is representative of the cerebral and inventive qualities of an artist’s conceptions. The red chalk drawing in his hand depicts the Roman goddess Minerva. The presence of Minerva is twofold in meaning: she is the protectress of the arts, but she also represents his knowledge of the classical world, thus confirming his portrayal of himself as an educated gentleman.