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Oil painting - An Unknown man

An Unknown man

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1640 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Bernard H. Webb

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

An oil portrait of a man in three-quarter profile, with long hair and a moustache, wearing 17th century costume.

Place of Origin

Germany (painted)


ca. 1640 (painted)


Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas


Height: 56.5 cm estimate, Width: 42 cm estimate

Descriptive line

Oil portrait of an unknown man, formerly attributed to William Dobson. German School, ca. 1640.

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

Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 128, cat. no. 146.
The following is the full text of the entry:

German School, ca. 1640

22 ¼ x 16 5/8 (56.5 x 42)

When it was auctioned in 1904, this painting was described as 'W. Dobson. Portrait of John Lilburne'. The attribution to Dobson was abandoned when the picture entered the Museum and the name LILBURNE, which was inscribed in the lower right hand corner, turned out to be a later addition and disappeared when it was cleaned in 1960. It appears to be German, Thirty Years' War period, ca. 1640.

Condition. Cleaned in 1960; paint surface thin; some damage along the edges.
Prov. Marquis of Townshend; sold with Townshend heirlooms, Christie's, 7 Mar. 1904, lot 171, bought for £52 10s. by Bernard H. Webb; bequeathed to the Museum in 1919.

Production Note

Attributed to William Dobson as a portrait of John Lilburne when it was auctioned in 1904, this attribution was abandoned when it entered the Museum. The name LILBURNE, inscribed on the lower right hand corner, turned out to be a later addition and disappeared when it was cleaned in 1960. Kauffmann (1973) considers it to be German, from the period of the Thirty Years' War (ca. 1640).


Canvas; Oil paint


Oil painting


Paintings; Portraits

Collection code


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