Cornelius JohnsonPortrait of an Unknown Gentleman 1629

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Artwork details

Artist
Cornelius Johnson (1593‑1661)
Title
Portrait of an Unknown Gentleman
Date 1629
MediumOil paint on oak
Dimensionssupport: 435 x 318 mm frame: 565 x 470 x 60 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1965
Reference
T00744
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1540

Display caption

This gentleman wears the crimson sash of the Order of the Bath but he has not been identified further. Like its paired portrait, next but one to the right - presumably of the sitter's wife - this one bears Johnson's monogram 'C.J.' and the date 1629.
Three years later, Sir Anthony van Dyck settled in Britain: his work was to influence Johnson's style profoundly. These two earlier portraits, however, demonstrate Johnson's characteristically intimate and pensive work, combined with the softened, rather brushy, technique of his mid-career. The unusual scale of this portrait - halfway between a full-size portrait and a miniature - is found in other works by Johnson.

August 2004

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