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Jan Gossaert (Jean Gossart), 'A Man holding a Glove'

The identity of the sitter

Jan Gossaert, 'Man holding a glove'

fig.17 Head of Damião de Goís from his monument, Alenquer, S. Maria de Varzea (from a cast) © Photo The National Gallery, London

In 1966 Reis Santos identified the sitter, by comparison with other portraits, as the Portuguese humanist Damião de Góis (1502–1574).19 This identification was tentatively accepted by Davies.20

A damaged portrait in high relief of Damião de Góis appears on his monument in the church of S. Maria de Varzea at Alenquer (fig.17); it shows a man with very differently shaped eye-sockets.21 The sitter in NG946 looks a little more like an engraving by Philips Galle, published in 1587 and inscribed: ‘DAMIANVS A GOES’ (fig.18); but it is based on a drawn portrait by Dürer (fig.19) which cannot represent Damião as the two never met.22 The resemblances between NG946 and the engraving seem, in any case, to be coincidental. The Mantuan provenance of NG946 might suggest that the sitter was an Italian; but the Dukes of Mantua acquired Netherlandish pictures from many different sources.23 The dress, particularly the broad black bands around the ends of the pink sleeves, may provide some indication of the sitter’s profession.

Jan Gossaert, 'Man holding a glove'

fig.19 Albrecht Dürer, ‘Portrait of a Man’, chalk and wash on brownish paper, 360 x 290 mm, Vienna, Albertina © akg-images

Jan Gossaert, 'Man holding a glove'

fig.18 Philips Galle, engraving inscribed ‘DAMIANVS A GOES’, after the drawing by Dürer reproduced as fig.19

Further Sections

19. L. Reis Santos, ‘Portrait vraisemblable de Damien de Goes par Jan Gossaert, de Mabuse’, unpublished paper delivered to the XXIXe Congrès de la Fédération archéologique et historique de Belgique, Bruges, 16–18 September 1966 (a copy of the typescript, without the notes, is at the NG). The summary published in ‘Handelingen van het Genootschap gesticht onder de benaming Société d'Emulation te Brugge’, vol. CIII, 1966, pp. 301–2, omits the section on NG946.

20. Davies 1968, p. 61.

21. Reproductions in Segurado 1975, plates V-X.

22. For the engraving, published in ‘Imagines L. doctorum virorum’, Antwerp 1587 (Hollstein, vol. VII, nos 685-734), for the drawing attributed to Dürer (Albertina, Winkler 917) and for related paintings, see Mende 1985.

23. Campbell 1985, pp. xxxvi-xxxviii and references.