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Portrait miniature - An Unknown Man

An Unknown Man

  • Object:

    Portrait miniature

  • Place of origin:

    England (painted)

  • Date:

    1675-1680 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cross, Peter (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour probably originally put down on a leaf from a table-book

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased from the funds of the R. H. Stephenson Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

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

Physical description

Portrait of a young man, head and shoulders, turned slightly to left and looking to front; the sitter is wearing a long wig and a neckcloth of patterned lace. Features stippled in brown, sanguine, blue and yellow, with some white heightening, on a pale carnation ground; hair in brown wash, hatched with darker colour and with gouache lights over the carnation; cravat in white with some brown hatching over a pale brown-grey wash; robe in blue washes modelled in dark brown; plain dark brown background; on vellum, probably originally put down on a leaf from a table-book.

Frame: Nineteenth-century oval locket of copper-gilt, the slightly convex back soldered into a rim which is stepped inward with a curved section and two straight steps to the bezel, which holds the rounded edges of the shallowly convex glass; the hanger of rectangular section, grooved down the middle, the ends bifurcating and looping back into diminishing spirals of seven turns.

Place of Origin

England (painted)


1675-1680 (painted)


Cross, Peter (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour probably originally put down on a leaf from a table-book

Marks and inscriptions

Signed lower left, in yellow


Height: 70.5 cm, Width: 57 cm

Object history note

Provenance: In 1865 in the possession of the 6th Earl of Chesterfield; evidently by descent with the title rather than the property after 1871, until c.1916; subsequently with HE Backer ( the dealer), from whom purchased by the Museum, September 1952.

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature of a unknown man, watercolour on vellum, painted by Peter Cross, 1675-1680.

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

Victoria & Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1952. London: HMSO, 1963.
Murdoch, John. Seventeenth-century English Miniatures in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: The Stationery Office, 1997.


Vellum; Watercolour



Subjects depicted

Man; Neckcloth


Portraits; Paintings


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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