British School 19th century

A Black Model

c.1830–40

In Tate Britain
Artist
British School 19th century 1800–1899
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1283 x 1016 mm
frame: 1385 x 1135 x 73 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1942
Reference
N05386

Display caption

The artist who painted this work is unknown, as is the identity of the young man represented here. The sitter’s luxurious jacket and waistcoat are Albanian, but his turban and loose trousers appear to be Turkish or North-African. The picture follows conventions of portraiture, with its focus on the man’s features and high-status dress. The combination of oriental styles, however, suggests that the figure might be intended to represent a literary or poetic character.

Gallery label, April 2018

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