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Wolfgang Heimbach, Portrait of a Young Man

Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Young Man
Artist Wolfgang Heimbach
Artist dates active 1636 - 1678
Date made 1662
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 49.5 × 35.9 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bought, 1888
Inventory number NG1243
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of a Young Man
Wolfgang Heimbach

The classical-style pillar and red silk curtain add grandeur to this portrait of a proud-looking young man. The inscription on the balustrade to the right includes the artist’s monogram and the date 1662. The first part of it, ‘Cop’, stands for Copenhagen, where Heimbach lived for several years in the mid-seventeenth century, serving as the court painter to Frederick III.

The sitter has not been identified, but may be a Danish merchant; the background of towers to left and shops to the right may be intended to represent Copenhagen. The painting, with its date of 1662, provides the latest recorded evidence of Heimbach’s presence in the city on his first visit.

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