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Portrait miniature - An Unknown Man

An Unknown Man

  • Object:

    Portrait miniature

  • Place of origin:

    England (painted)

  • Date:

    ca.1665 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on vellum put down on pasteboard

  • Credit Line:

    Alan Evans Bequest, given by the National Gallery

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case RMC, shelf 1, box D

Physical description

Portrait of a man, head and shoulders, turned to front, his hair long, and wearing armour and a neckcloth tied in a bow. Features in brown and sanguine, brushed generously into a heavily impasted ground, and with successive scumbles and glazes in the areas of flesh to give light and shade; white in the eyes and red for the lips; hair in brown wash, lined in darker colour and with the lights in pale brown opaque wash; cravat in pale brown wash, heightened with white and with darker brown and grey for the shadows; armour in dark grey washes with the lights in pale grey-blue and white; the studs in yellow-ochre and brown; sky in opaque washes of blue, grey, brown and yellow; on vellum put down on pasteboard.

Frame: Nineteenth-century gilt locket; nearly flat back overlapping very short straight sides forming the bezel, which holds the flat glass by its bevelled edge; the hanger of D-section with a single narrow central groove, soldered to the back of the locket; two separate spirals of flat wire, each beginning with a short reverse turn before entering seven diminishing turns. On the back, a printed label of South Kensington 1862, inscribed: Baroness North / Aug. 23.

Place of Origin

England (painted)


ca.1665 (painted)



Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on vellum put down on pasteboard


Height: 53 mm, Width: 45 mm

Object history note

Provenance: In 1862, Lady North de Kirtling at Wroxton Abbey; acquired from an unrecorded source by the Hon. F HA Wallop; by him lent to the V&A c.192 7-49; ownership transferred to Alan Evans, 1933, and by him bequeathed to the National Gallery, 1974; placed on indeterminate loan at the V&A.

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature of an unknown man, watercolour on vellum, English school, ca.1665.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Murdoch, John. Seventeenth-century English Miniatures in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: The Stationery Office, 1997.


Watercolour; Vellum



Subjects depicted

Man; Armour


Paintings; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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