Skip to main content
Head of a Man in Red
Giacomo Francesco Cipper
/

This characterful portrait is a pair to Head of a Man in Blue, also in our collection.

A man looks out, his eyes sparkling and head slightly cocked. His mouth is open, as if he is speaking, and he has crooked and missing teeth. A cheerful demeanour animates his face, as do the wisps of hair poking out from under his hat and the upturned tufts of his moustache.

The style and subject of this picture are typical of Giacomo Francesco Cipper, an artist who specialised in low-life scenes. The man here is evidently poor – the sleeve of his red jacket is coming away at the seam, and the cloth has been roughly stitched along his shoulder – but the artist’s portrayal is very sympathetic. The paint has been quickly and loosely applied without blending the daubs of colour, giving this work (and its pair) a ‘blotchy’ – almost impressionistic – appearance and sense of immediacy.

Key facts
Artist Giacomo Francesco Cipper
Artist dates 1664 - 1736
Full title Head of a Man in Red
Group Two Expressive Heads
Date made early 18th century
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 46.1 x 35.9 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Maurice Woolff Jacobson, 1944
Inventory number NG5469
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

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.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

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

Creative Commons Logo

Two Expressive Heads

/

These two paintings, which are of similar subjects and identical in size, were almost certainly intended as pendants, or companion pieces, to be hung together. The men portrayed here are evidently poor – their ragged clothing is roughly stitched together, one suffers from a swollen goitre on his neck and the other has missing teeth – but the artist’s portrayal is entirely sympathetic. These men are full of character, their expressions lively and engaging. The loose, animated brushwork adds to their sense of immediacy.

The style and subject of these paintings are typical of Giacomo Francesco Cipper, who specialised in painting low-life scenes of beggars, street-sellers and vagabonds in Milan – a genre in which another painter working in Lombardy, Giacomo Ceruti (1697–1767), later excelled.

;