Portrait of a Man (Alfonso de Valdés?)

The medal displayed by the sitter survives and the inscription: MERCVRIVS. DE. GATTINARIA. CAR. V. IMP. CANCELL (Mercurius de Gattinaria, Chancellor to the Emperor Charles V) suggests the subject of the portrait might to be identified as Alfonso de Valdes, one of Gattinaria’s closest associates. His likeness accords with that shown in a contemporary medal. De Valdes was born about 1492 and died in 1532. He was one of the witnesses to the will of Gattinaria (1465–1530) who became Chancellor to Charles V in 1518.

The artist seems to have been Vermeyen’s principal associate and the portrait could well have been the one de Valdes mentions as started in 1531 in the Low Countries.

Key facts

Artist dates
about 1504; died 1559
Full title
Portrait of a Man (Alfonso de Valdés?)
Date made
about 1531
Medium and support
Oil on oak
42 × 33.8 cm
Acquisition credit
Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number
Location in Gallery