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Follower of Anthonis Mor, Portrait of a Bearded Man

Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Bearded Man
Artist Follower of Anthonis Mor
Artist dates born between 1516 and 1521; died 1576/7
Date made about 1560-80
Medium and support Oil on paper, mounted on a walnut panel
Dimensions 39.5 × 27.2 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by George Fielder and received on the death of his widow, 1908
Inventory number NG2295
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of a Bearded Man
Follower of Anthonis Mor

We don't know who this man is, though similar collars and beards appear in portraits of the 1560s and 1570s. The painting is on paper, mounted on a walnut panel, and is unfinished. It might have been a study, perhaps for one sitter in a group, or possibly a pattern which the artist kept in his workshop and from which finished portraits could be made as required.

Many of the distortions of the face are those practised by Anthonis Mor. The far eye is out of perspective and too large, the shadow behind the nose is oddly dark and narrow, and the ear is not foreshortened enough, so it seems to stick out from his head.

Mor had many assistants – Joachim Beuckelaer at one time worked as his drapery painter – and the upper lashes of the sitter’s left eye catch the light in a way seen in the work of Sanchez Coello, one of his pupils.

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