He is holding an artist's palette. Yet the colors on that palette are faded and barely visible. His face indicates calmness, but his posture demonstrates some frustration. The neutral scene and colors contribute even further to this "moment" picture. It fascinatingly maintains the audience in a dimension that stands between reality and abstraction. The situation itself is undeniably realistic; the Student's focus is left for the audience to decide.
As I continue to search for answers in the subject's facial features, I am stunned. I, a student, stood there with an undoubtedly similar expression--perplexed--staring at this painting wondering where it was trying to take me when I realized he was staring back at ME doing the same thing! Felice Casorati successfully engaged my subconscious in his reflexive work.