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A Man aged 38
Lucas van Leyden
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An unknown man gazes past us into the distance. There is nothing to identify him beyond the scroll in his hand, which tells us his age: 38. His clothing is sombre – there is no conspicuous display of wealth and status – but it does suggest that he was a man of means.

The man’s costume and the style of the painting suggest it was done in around 1520. The painting isn't signed but resembles a group of portrait drawings made by Lucas van Leyden, two of which are dated 1521.

His intent gaze, firm jaw and determined mouth give an impression of a formidable character. This intensity and edginess is typical of van Leyden, and can also be found in other Netherlandish portraits.

Key facts
Artist Lucas van Leyden
Artist dates active 1508; died 1533
Full title A Man aged 38
Date made about 1521
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 46.7 × 40.8 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by the children of Lewis Fry in his memory, through the Art Fund, 1921
Inventory number NG3604
Location in Gallery Room 14
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