The man holds a piece of paper which is inscribed '38'. This must refer to his age at the time the portrait was painted. The portrait conveys a tangible sense of volume. The shadow of the head appears on the wall in the background.

The picture probably dates from about 1521, when Lucas van Leyden met Dürer in Antwerp. Van Leyden was much influenced by Dürer at this period.

The picture relates to portrait drawings of an unusual horizontal shape made by Lucas at this time. In pose, lighting and concern for detail the portrait also recalls work by Dürer.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
active 1508; died 1533
Full title
A Man aged 38
Date made
about 1521
Medium and support
Oil on oak
Dimensions
46.7 × 40.8 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by the children of Lewis Fry in his memory, through The Art Fund, 1921
Inventory number
NG3604
Location in Gallery