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Head of a man (recto)
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Head of a man (recto)

Circa 1600

Nicholas Lagneau (active ca. 1590 - ca. 1610)

Chalk (black and red) on paper

Height: 41.2 cm; Width: 26.3 cm;

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Lee of Fareham, Arthur Hamilton (1st Viscount); bequest; 1947

About this work
This powerfully realised portrait of an older man, his penetrating gaze and every wrinkle rendered with meticulous detail, is a striking example of French portraiture outside a courtly milieu. Neither the sitter nor the artist is known. According to inscriptions by the famous collector Abbé de Marolles (1600-1681), ‘Lagneau’ is the name ascribed to many such drawings, most of which depict sitters whose costumes denote humble backgrounds, notable for their skilful rendering of skin with red and black chalks. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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