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Anthonis Mor, Portrait of a Man

Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Man
Artist Anthonis Mor
Artist dates born between 1516 and 1521; died 1576/7
Date made probably early 1560s
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 51.2 × 42.6 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1887
Inventory number NG1231
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of a Man
Anthonis Mor

Although damaged, we can tell that this is an original work by Anthonis Mor. His sitters are usually lit from above and the left; their noses are narrow but have deep shadows and the eyes are too widely spaced. We don't know the identity of the sitter, but the cut of his hair, and the long beard with very long moustache, suggest a date in the early 1560s.

Mor was renowned for painting very fast: his Portrait of Hubert Goltzius (Musée royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels) is supposed to have been painted, without any preliminary drawing, in under an hour. This picture may have resulted from a similar swift sitting. Techincal examionation does not reveal any underdrawing, and the original paint is rather thin and has been applied very quickly, with great economy and skill.

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