About this artwork

This half-length portrait shows a man at a desk or table before a detailed mountainous landscape, visible through rich marble arcading. Originally, the soberly dressed young man was holding only the rosebud, a traditional symbol of love that could also refer to the transience of beauty and life. X-rays have revealed that the other prominent objects, including the halo that transformed the man into a saint, were all later additions. The sitter must have been a wealthy man to commission a portrait of this quality from the leading Antwerp painter at the time.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Portrait of a Man
  • date created:
    About 1510 - 1520
  • materials:
    Oil on panel
  • measurements:
    80.00 x 64.50 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Accepted in lieu of tax 1965
  • accession number:
    NG 2273
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Quentin Massys

Quentin Massys