?British SchoolPortrait of a Gentleman, probably of the West Family 1545-60

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Artwork details

?British School (dates not known)
Portrait of a Gentleman, probably of the West Family
Date 1545-60
MediumOil paint on oak
Dimensionssupport: 1330 x 785 mm frame: 1533 x 988 x 86 mm
Acquisition Presented in memory of R.S. Holford and Sir George Holford by nine members of their family 1927
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1540


The history of this puzzling work cannot be traced prior to its appearance in 1868 in the third Exhibition of National Portraits at the South Kensington Museum (cat. no. 629) where it was identified as a portrait of ‘William West, 1st Lord Delawarr’ by Hans Holbein (1497/8-1543) owned by R.S. Holford M.P. The attribution to the German-born Holbein, who died in England in 1543, cannot be sustained, and it is not even clear whether it was carried out by an artist working in England. Dendrochronological analysis by Dr Peter Klein of the three-board oak panel on which it is painted indicates that it was created at some date after 1527. Preliminary technical analysis indicates that the pigments used are ones that were available during the sixteenth century… (read more)

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