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Corneille de Lyon, Bust Portrait of a Man

Key facts
Full title Bust Portrait of a Man
Artist Corneille de Lyon
Artist dates active 1533; died 1575
Date made about 1533-75
Medium and support Oil on walnut
Dimensions 16.5 × 13.8 cm
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2611
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Bust Portrait of a Man
Corneille de Lyon

A thin-faced man with a hooked nose gazes directly out at us. He wears a black hat and his dark grey garments are perhaps made of watered silk: an irregular swirling black pattern extends across both chest and the puffed shoulders. There are no indications of the sitter’s identity.

Corneille de Lyon and his workshop produced many small portraits of French notables which stuck to a successful formula, flattering to his sitters – making it hard to distinguish between his works and those of his followers. As is usual with Corneille, the eyes are rather far apart and are not quite horizontal, and the head itself is not quite vertical. His moustache conceals the corners of his mouth; he lacks the incipient smile found in many of Corneille’s portraits.

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