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This portrait was painted at Bethlem Royal Hospital in London, although the sitter is unknown. He could be one of the attendants in charge of the inmates at the hospital. The sunflower is possibly an allusion to the god Osiris (with whom Dadd was obsessed) who was traditionally identified with the sun. The bright red fez (a type of oriental cap) may be the one Dadd himself wore on his travels in the Middle East.

May 2007