This half-length portrait is on paper later attached to an oak panel. A young man wearing a slight, almost boyish moustache looks towards the viewer, his determined expression emphasised by his pose, with his right hand raised to his chest and his left resting on his hip. He is dressed in a black coat, with a wide collar and turned back cuffs.
When the painting entered the National Gallery’s collection in 1906 it was attributed to the Flemish painter Enrico Fiammingo (Hendrick van Somer, 1607/08 – about 1655). It was later thought to be by an Italian painter and catalogued as such in 1995. It now seems now more likely that the artist was from the Netherlands. The costume, pose and loose brushwork suggest that it dates from the mid-seventeenth century.
This half-length portrait is on paper later attached to an oak panel. A young man wearing a slight, almost boyish moustache, looks towards the viewer, his determined expression emphasised by his pose, with his right hand raised to his chest, and his left resting on his hip. He is dressed in a black coat, with a wide collar and turned back cuffs. The costume suggests a date in the mid-seventeenth century.
The painting was bequeathed to the National Gallery in 1906 and entered the collection attributed to the Flemish painter Enrico Fiammingo (Hendrick van Somer, 1607/08 – about 1655), who worked in Naples where he was a pupil of Jusepe de Ribera. This attribution appeared to be supported by a later inscription on paper pasted on the back of the painting, which was removed by the National Gallery’s conservators in 1931. However, the painting does not show any similarities with Enrico Fiammingo’s style, and possibly for this reason it was later thought to be by an Italian painter and described as such in the 1995 National Gallery’s Complete Illustrated Catalogue.This attribution is also unlikely, because the picture does not show any Italian influence. Indeed, considering its format and the loose and confident handling, it seems more likely that the artist was from northern Europe, probably the Netherlands. The pose of the sitter also reflects those in portraits, often painted on wooden panels, by artists active in Flanders and the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century.
The Flemish artist Hendrick van Somer (Enrico Fiammingo) was often confused by early art historians with a Dutch artist with a similar name, Hendrick van Someren (1615–1685), who was born and worked in Amsterdam. This may be why the painting was wrongly attributed to Enrico Fiammingo on the paper pasted on the reverse of the picture. However, the fact that Hendrick van Someren’s work is not well known makes it impossible to establish whether the picture is actually by him on stylistic grounds.
Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.
License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.
This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.
Examples of non-commercial use are:
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.
You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.