About this artwork

Although long considered to be by Jacopo Bassano, the composition and handling of this fine portrait link it closely to the Tintoretto workshop. It probably dates from about 1580. The arrangement with the curtain, grandiose column and base, and the cloth-covered table with a crucifix and a folded letter, finds particularly close parallels in the work of Domenico Tintoretto, the son of Jacopo. Purchased in Genoa in 1830 by the Scottish painter and dealer Andrew Wilson, this portrait was part of one of the earliest batches of Old Master paintings acquired by the Royal Institution in Edinburgh, which formed part of the founding collection of the National Gallery of Scotland.

  • title:
    Portrait of a Gentleman
  • accession number:
    NG 3
  • artist:
    Unknown
  • follower of:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
    About 1580
  • measurements:
    127.00 x 98.00 cm (framed: 149.70 x 122.80 x 12.00 cm)
  • credit line:
    Purchased by the RI 1830; transferred 1859
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

Tintoretto

Tintoretto

Jacopo Robusti was nicknamed Tintoretto 'little dyer' after his father who was a cloth dyer. He became one of the most prolific artists in Venice, specialising in large-scale religious narrative scenes, altarpieces, mythological subjects and portraits. His striking compositions often defied convention through exaggerated perspective and bold foreshortening of figures, and his quick work was sometimes criticized for its lack of finish. He may have trained with Titian for a short time. Tintoretto ran his busy workshop as a family business employing two sons and a daughter.