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Frans Pourbus the Elder, Portrait of Dom Andreas Boulengier

Key facts
Full title Portrait of Dom Andreas Boulengier
Artist Frans Pourbus the Elder
Artist dates 1545 - 1581
Date made about 1580
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 74.5 × 57.3 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Inscribed
Acquisition credit Presented by the Misses Rachel F. and Jean I. Alexander; entered the Collection, 1972
Inventory number NG6412
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of Dom Andreas Boulengier
Frans Pourbus the Elder

Although we know the name and approximate date of birth of the sitter of this portrait, he has not yet been fully identified. His robes suggest he was a Benedictine, or possibly Augustinian, canon. The coat of arms in the upper right corner – that of the Boulengé de la Hainière family – is the same as that on his ring.

Two inscriptions are visible: in the upper left corner D. ANDREAS; in the upper right AETATIS SUA 52, or possibly 42. The D seems to be short for ‘Dom’, an abbreviation of Dominus, the title given to professed monks of various orders as well as to certain canons regular. The man’s beard and clothing is similar to those worn by the Benedictine Jaspar de Bovincourt, who was made Abbot of St Peter’s at Oudenburg, west of Bruges, in 1569.

The inscription on the arm of the chair is F Pourbus, although it has been altered (perhaps in an attempt to create a false Holbein signature).

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