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Domenico Tintoretto (?), Portrait of a Gentleman

Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Gentleman
Artist Domenico Tintoretto (?)
Artist dates 1560 - 1635
Date made about 1590-1600
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 119.5 × 98 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Henry Gally Knight, 1839
Inventory number NG173
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Portrait of a Gentleman
Domenico Tintoretto (?)

A dark-haired young man turns to look at us sidelong. Who is he? Tantalising clues have been included in the painting.

He wears two red-stoned rings on the little finger of his left hand, and may be holding a folded glove, which is sometimes the symbol of a love pledge. A coat of arms was once painted below his right wrist. His broad, soft white collar is of a style worn between about 1590 and 1600.

The glass vase on the table may suggest that the man was connected with the Venetian glass industry, but a vase can also be a symbol of purity or chastity. It contains a sprig of dark green leaves that look like juniper. The juniper may relate to the man’s name or emblem, or to that of his beloved: Ginevra, the Italian for juniper, was a popular female name at the time.

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