Portrait of a Man

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License of this image: CC-BY-SA
License of original image: National Gallery of Denmark - Statens Museum for Kunst - CC0

By: Jan Gossaert (1453-1532)
Created: c.1478-1532, Collection: National Gallery of Denmark - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark Rights: CC0

Flare those nostrills like you're ready to take on the world!


The man in the painting is unknown to us but we have seen his type of steely determination before.   For him the ends justify the means. Portraits which gave inner depth  to sitters  grew in popularity during the Italian Renaissance.   Gossaert had ample opportunities to familiarise himself with this movement and communicate it to wider audiences north of the Alps.

The Flemish Jan Gossaert became a master of the St. Luke’s Guild of painters in Antwerp in 1503. Only a few years later his work would take him from one royal patron to the next throughout all of Europe. The painting of the children of Danish King Christian 2. (1481-1559) was to be one of the first secular group portraits in art history (Hampton Court, London).