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Adriaen van der Werff, Portrait of a Man in a Quilted Gown

Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Man in a Quilted Gown
Artist Adriaen van der Werff
Artist dates 1659 - 1722
Date made 1685
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 47.3 × 38.3 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented by Sir Edward Malet, 1898
Inventory number NG1660
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of a Man in a Quilted Gown
Adriaen van der Werff

We don’t know who the sitter in this portrait is, but Adriaen van der Werff has portrayed him as a man of leisure and a lover of antiquities. He is pictured outside in his garden, wearing a luxurious quilted silk robe and white cravat. He gazes out at us, his eyes thoughtful and intelligent though perhaps a little distant.

A Greek sculpture in the background is a copy of the so-called Farnese Flora – we don't know whether the figure represents Flora or Pomona, both goddesses of fertility and fruitfulness – which had been discovered sometime before 1532 in Rome. Here, the sculpture’s pose is in reverse; it was probably known to the artist in an engraving. It proclaims the sitter as a man of taste and refinement who would know of new discoveries and developments in the understanding of the classical age.

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