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30 of 656 paintings
This painting reflects the simple and direct manner of German portraiture of the late fifteenth century. It was once thought to be a portrait by Holbein of the German religious reformer Martin Luther, but the sitter is in fact Alexander Mornauer, town clerk of Landshut in Bavaria; the letter he h...
Two young men in fashionable clothing look into the distance as they lean against a plinth. This double portrait has traditionally been considered to be by Anthony van Dyck, but this is now doubted. Though it reflects the style of the artist in the 1630s, it could have been painted by a follower...
Not on display
We do not know who this lady is. Her costume suggests that she is a Florentine noblewoman of the late 1570s and 1580s and it is likely that the portrait dates from that time.The style of the portrait is similar to those of Bronzino (1503–1572), who was court artist to Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519–15...
Not on display
This portrait was once thought to be of Elisa Bonaparte (1777–1820), a younger sister of Napoleon Bonaparte. However, the young woman has not yet been identified. At one time attributed to Jacques-Louis David, the portrait has been claimed to be both French and Italian – the hills in the backgrou...
This portrait is one of the earliest and largest known examples of a painting on tinned copper, and the only portrait. The subject is commonly identified as Cardinal Giacomo Savelli (1522–1587), who was made a cardinal at 16 and became Vicar General of Rome in 1560. There is a smaller version of...
This portrait may depict Ghirardo Averoldi, a nobleman from Brescia in northern Italy. He regards us with a frown, and the solid triangular form of his body, swathed in his black silk and velvet costume, makes him appear stern and powerful. The large collar of the coat and the shape of the sleev...
This richly dressed lady, whose identity is unknown, sits behind a parapet against a plain, dark background. Her body is turning slightly away from us and her hand rests on the parapet, making it look as though she might be sitting at an open window. The parapet was a common device in Venetian po...
Not on display
This painting was once thought to be a self portrait by Ducreux. However, it has since been identified as one of five pictures that he exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1791, where it may have had the title Portrait of a Gentleman by Du Creux, R.A. Based upon a handwritten note found in...
A young man is shown in half length, his body turned slightly but with his gaze fixed firmly on us. His features are quite particular – a wide mouth, long and prominent nose, dark wavy hair and brown eyes – but his identity remains a mystery. He is clearly a painter: he holds a brush in one hand,...
Not on display
This is a rare surviving portrait by the Venetian painter and manuscript illuminator Jacometto, and it shows his delicate and refined painting style. The boy’s beauty is probably an idealised version of reality; portraits were thought to represent the subject’s soul as well as their facial featur...
Not on display
This modest portrait with a highly finished surface was formerly thought to be by Ingres, but there is no justification for this attribution. Although the sitter and the artist have not yet been identified, both the hair and the clothes enable us to date the portrait to the mid-nineteenth century...
Not on display
We do not know the identity of the jovial-looking man in this half-length portrait, but Tocqué captures both his appearance and his psychology. He rests one hand on the back of a chair and the other on his hip as he turns to observe us with a smile.The elaborate gold brocade waistcoat is a visual...
Not on display
This lively portrait was once wrongly attributed to Jacques-Louis David, but it may be by his assistant Georges Rouget or by one of David’s followers, Baron Gros. The boy’s clothing dates the portrait to around the first 15 years of the nineteenth century. However, his hairstyle allows us to date...
This portrait was bequeathed to the National Gallery in 1837. Time hasn‘t been kind to it. Painted in oil on an oak panel, the background in particular seems to have suffered damage or been painted over at some point.We don’t know who the sitter is or who painted the picture, but is thought perha...
Not on display
We do not know the identity of the elegant young woman portrayed here, but her costume suggests a date of about 1540. She sits before a green curtain and meets our eye with a direct, confident gaze. The green curtain and the woman’s appearance and headdress are very similar to Bronzino’s Portrait...
Not on display
The languid brown eyes of a young man gaze out at us, his look faintly quizzical. But who is he? His long hair waves softly about his neck, the shadow of a moustache dusts his upper lip, a wisp of a curl brushes a wide brow, and his full mouth pouts a little, adding to the uncertainty of his exp...
This bold picture is a good example of the portrait style of Venetian painter Alvise Vivarini. He was well known for describing his sitters' individual features in detail – here he has made sure to include the man’s wrinkles and the dark circles under his eyes. The man’s confident expression was...
Not on display
Cornelius Johnson spent much of his career working in London, but this portrait of an unknown lady was painted in Holland in 1655, 12 years after he left England.The black costume was fashionable at the time, but the gown must have belonged to the artist rather than the lady as it appears in at l...
Not on display
An unknown man looks out from this portrait with a self-assured stare. His rosy lips, soft eyes and pale, youthful complexion are framed by a curly white wig that falls down his back. It is held in place with a neat black ribbon, as was fashionable for wealthy gentleman of the time.Carriera was n...
Not on display
The dark red curtain in the background gives a warm, luxurious atmosphere to this portrait and complements the sitter’s auburn hair and sparkling brown eyes. Her half smile and the rose tucked over her ear suggest an agreeable, perhaps even mischievous, character. Unfortunately, the identity of t...
Not on display
Golden hair, rosy lips and pale skin were the ideal of feminine beauty in fifteenth-century Florence. All feature in this lady’s portrait, which was probably made to celebrate her marriage.Around her long neck she wears a strand of orange beads with a pendant set with a large pearl. A cluster of...
The man in this portrait has not yet been identified, but he is probably from the Yorkshire gentry. With his body positioned at a slight angle to us, in a three-quarter view, he leans against a stone column with his right hand tucked into his waistcoat – a pose that was often adopted by English s...
Not on display
The young girl, whose name is not known, is shown turned towards the viewer in a three-quarter pose. The view offers a more direct engagement with the sitter than was possible in more traditional profile view portraits.Though probably idealised as was common in portraits at this time – particular...
Not on display
An unknown woman with a piercing gaze leans on a table, holding a closed fan in her left hand. The sitter’s elegant costume alludes to her wealth and status, as does the ornate silver ewer behind her. She is outdoors, under a cloudy sky.The portrait had traditionally been attributed to the celebr...
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 –...
Not on display
Paul Cézanne was about 40 years old when he painted this self portrait in Paris around 1880–1. He was now middle-aged with a family to support, and the intensity of his earlier self portraits has here given way to a more distant and reflective presence. Although relatively small, the portrait has...
Not on display
This painting was once thought to be by Gonzales Coques, one of the most successful portrait artists in Antwerp between the 1650s and 1680s. It is unsigned and undated, but the costume and hairstyle suggest that it was painted in about 1650, and the pose and spirited look in the sitter’s eyes are...
Not on display
The sitter for this portrait by the Spanish artist Raimundo de Madrazo has not yet been identified, but her clothes can be dated to the late 1880s or early 1890s. As the clothing is unfinished, this may be a study for a larger portrait.Born in Rome in 1841 into a family of artists of noble descen...
On display elsewhere
Not many portraits by Jacometto survive but the National Gallery has two, including this one. The man’s costume tells us that he is a Venetian citizen. He’s painted in a style fashionable in late fifteenth-century Venice, which derives from Netherlandish painting: the three-quarter pose was new a...
Not on display
This thoughtful man, probably in his late twenties, is richly dressed in a costume dating from about 1516. He holds a rosary and his hand rests on a book tied with blue ribbons. Round his neck is a type of gold chain worn by the minor nobility.The book and the laurels behind him suggest that he m...
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