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Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Young Man in Black
Artist Dutch
Date made about 1635-40
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 73.8 x 58.2 cm
Inscription summary Inscribed
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by John G. Griffiths, 1923
Inventory number NG3725
Location Not on display
Portrait of a Young Man in Black
Dutch
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This picture by an unknown artist was once thought to portray Lucius Cary, Viscount Falkland, but a portrait of him in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire shows a different man. He looks out at us with a faint smile, his long, thick hair brushing his forehead and pale cheeks. His costume seems to date the portrait to the second half of the 1630s.

The portrait includes a small symbolic depiction of a tiny seated Cupid, god of love, wearing a crown. He holds an arrow, appearing to use it to pierce the flaming heart on which he sits. Below him is a Latin motto: sic puer ille manet (‘he is still young’). It’s not clear what exactly this emblematic addition refers to.

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