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Portrait miniature - An Unknown Man

An Unknown Man

  • Object:

    Portrait miniature

  • Place of origin:

    England (painted)

  • Date:

    ca.1680-1685 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cross, Peter (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on vellum put down on a leaf from a table-book

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Emma Joseph

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

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

Physical description

Portrait of a man, head and shoulders, facing and looking to front, and wearing a long wig and neckcloth of patterned lace. Features stippled in charcoal grey and sanguine, with touches of yellow and blue, and with some white heightening in and around the eyes, eyebrows and nose, on a pale carnation ground; hair washed in pale brown and stippled with dark grey and dark ochre, with some gouache lights, over the carnation; cravat in white and grey over an off-white wash; vest in plain black, robe in blue shadowed with black and pale blue; background a plain opaque dark brown; on vellum put down on a leaf from a table-book.

Frame: Nineteenth-century rectangular gold locket with slightly convex back, push-fitting into a front which is enamelled in dark blue and which holds the shallowly convex glass in a bezel; within the outer frame there is a gold mount, ornamented with acanthus, with an oval opening for the miniature; the spandrels and borders worked in low relief with four joined motifs of foliar ornament on a hammered ground.

Place of Origin

England (painted)


ca.1680-1685 (painted)


Cross, Peter (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on vellum put down on a leaf from a table-book


Height: 25 mm, Width: 21 mm

Object history note

Provenance: S S Joseph: presented to the Museum by his widow, Mrs Emma Joseph, May 1941.

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature of an unknown man, watercolour on vellum, painted by Peter Cross, ca.1680-1685.

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.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1941, London: HMSO, 1954.


Watercolour; Vellum



Subjects depicted

Man; Foliage


Paintings; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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