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  • Place of origin:

    Germany (painted)

  • Date:

    1701-1800 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil colour on canvas

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

It is relatively unusual to find a portrait of this date showing a baby alone. Most children of this age are depicted with at least one member of their family. The vestigial nature of the child's clothing is also relatively unusual. It has a precedent in the earlier use of nakedness or near-nakedness to indicate that a child is dead, as the younger son of the commissioning family is said to be in Holbein's 'Darmstadt' Madonna or sacred, like the Christ Child. Being not of the earth, they have no need of clothing, as Adam and Eve had none before they lost their innocence (Bible, Genesis Chapter 3).

Physical description

Oil painting on canvas, of portrait proportions, showing a young baby alone, seated on a red cushion and propped against a white bolster while holding a tasselled blue cord attached to draperies in the background. The baby is naked except for a chemise of translucent fabric incompletely worn (the child's left arm is not through the armhole and the garment is pulled down toward the waist somewhat).

The painting is framed in plain gilded wood.

Place of Origin

Germany (painted)


1701-1800 (painted)



Materials and Techniques

Oil colour on canvas


Height: 79.75 cm canvas, Width: 58.5 cm canvas

Object history note

Bought at Bonhams' Sale of Art and Antiques, 17/02/2010 in Oxford (RF 2010/ 559) together with painting B.154-2010.

Descriptive line

Painting, portrait of an un-named baby, oil on canvas, by an unknown artist, Germany, 1701-1800.


Oil colour; Canvas; Wood


Painting; Gilding

Subjects depicted



Portraits; Children & Childhood


Museum of Childhood

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