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  • Portrait of an Unknown Man (Henri III de Valois, the Duke of Anjou ?)

    Artist:
    Unknown French artist. 1560 - 1570
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    48,5x32 cm

Unknown French artist. 1560 - 1570

Portrait of an Unknown Man (Henri III de Valois, the Duke of Anjou ?)

France, Late 1560s

This superb example of French 16th-century portraiture does not limit itself to the mere depiction of an external likeness, but seeks to show those details which give away something of the sitter's character, such as the barely noticeable smile lurking at the corners of the mouth. The half-length format is characteristic of portraits of this period, while the slight turn of the figure indicates a move away from the static frontality or earlier times. The painting style is unusually soft for such portraits. The fashionable cut of the attire, the noble face and elegant bearing are evidence of the aristocratic origins of the subject. It was traditionally thought - due to an inscription in the top right corner which reads Mr Le Duc d'Alencon - that the subject was the Duc d'Alencon, but this theory has been totally rejected. The inscription is later than the painting itself, and the sitter is now identified as the Duc d'Anjou, the future Henri III of France.

Title:

Portrait of an Unknown Man (Henri III de Valois, the Duke of Anjou ?)

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

48,5x32 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1772; acquired from the collection of L.A. Crozat, Baron de Thiers in Paris

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-1255

Category:

Collection:

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