Skip to main content

Corneille de Lyon, Portrait of a Man in a Black Biretta

Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Man in a Black Biretta
Artist Corneille de Lyon
Artist dates active 1533; died 1575
Date made possibly 1538-61
Medium and support Oil on walnut
Dimensions 16.7 × 14.4 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by the Misses Rachel F. and Jean I. Alexander; entered the Collection, 1972
Inventory number NG6415
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of a Man in a Black Biretta
Corneille de Lyon

A man with blue eyes and a brown beard – slightly reddish below his mouth – looks out at us from this small picture. We don't know who he is but his black hat, known as a biretta, and his clothing indicate that he is a priest or a lawyer. He may well have been an important person: Corneille de Lyon and his workshop made at least three versions of this portrait (the others are in the Musée Jaquemart-André, Paris and in a private collection in Switzerland).

Corneille and his workshop produced numerous small portraits of notables of the French court, following a similar formula with slight differences in scale. Here, as elsewhere, the sitter is shown in close up against a green background. Corneille has narrowed his shoulders and reduced the cranium to enlarge the face – as was usual for the artist, although he did not usually exaggerate the proportions as much as here.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo