Skip to main content

Gerrit Dou, 'Portrait of a Man', 1635-40

Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Man
Artist Gerrit Dou
Artist dates 1613 - 1675
Date made 1635-40
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 18.9 × 14.7 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1844
Inventory number NG192
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Portrait of a Man
Gerrit Dou

In this tiny portrait, an affable young man turns towards us, settling his elbow over the back of his chair. His pipe is paused and he meets our gaze with an easy, relaxed look. Perhaps he has just taken a puff; the tobacco is glowing and smoke twists upwards from the bowl. Other minute details – from the pattern of the gold braid on the man’s hat to the reflections in his eyes – add to the atmosphere, and it is through such meticulous painting that Gerrit Dou has managed to capture the sense of a moment in time, rather than just a deadpan likeness. But the realism belies the point of the painting. Until recently it was thought to be a self portrait, but the similarities with known paintings of Dou are too generic for us to be sure. It is more likely that this is a tronie – an image of a stock character – which were highly popular in the Netherlands at the time.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

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.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo