The painting perhaps shows a mathematician; it is likely that the inscription has been incorrectly repainted and should read 'Elementum' or 'Elementa' - a book of the elements of mathematics. The paper beneath the book (now rubbed) suggests an astronomical work, a field of study connected with mathematics.

The picture is likely to be by a North Italian artist, possibly one active in Bologna, and presumably dates from the period 1600-50.

Key facts

Full title
A Mathematician (?)
Date made
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
113.7 x 83.8 cm
Acquisition credit
Bequeathed by George Fielder, 1908
Inventory number
Location in Gallery