Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Portrait miniature - An Unknown Man

An Unknown Man

  • Object:

    Portrait miniature

  • Place of origin:

    England (painted)

  • Date:

    1640-1650 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on vellum put down on pasteboard

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Sir Edward Denny

  • 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, turned slightly to left and looking to right; the sitter is wearing a gown and a cap; his hair is long. Features in a very fine pattern of hatching strokes in brown and sanguine, heavily reinforced with gouache, over a thin yellowish carnation ground; hair in pale brown wash with the lights in gouache; the collar and robe in opaque washes, hatched and shaded in darker colour and with the lights in gouache; background in dark grey wash; on vellum put down on pasteboard.

Frame: Adapted from a seventeenth-century gold locket to resemble a sixteenth-century jewel, the back of polished brown moss agate resembling a rocky landscape, set in straight sides deeply channeled and turning over into a deep bezel, which holds the flat glass by its bevelled edges; the hanger of reversed D-section, bifurcating at the base into two symmetrical supports which are soldered to the top of the locket; suspension lugs are crudely soldered to the sides and base of the locket (one missing, the rest damaged and all the pendants missing); within, across the top of the miniature, a 'label' in white enamel with gold thistle heads at each end, lettered in gold: Sr. Ed. DENNY BANNERET 1524

Place of Origin

England (painted)


1640-1650 (painted)



Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on vellum put down on pasteboard


Height: 62 mm, Height: 51 mm

Object history note

Provenance: The Denny family; given to the Museum by the then Sir Edward Denny, 1889.

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature of an unknown man, watercolour on vellum, English school, 1640-1650.

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

John Murdoch, Seventeenth-century English Miniatures in the Collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London: The Stationery Office in association with the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1997.


Watercolour; Vellum



Subjects depicted

Man; Cap


Paintings; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.