Portrait of a Man

Artist: Jan Gossart (called Mabuse) (Netherlandish, Maubeuge ca. 1478–1532 Antwerp (?))

Date: ca. 1520–25

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: 18 1/2 x 13 3/4 in. (47 x 34.9 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931

Accession Number: 32.100.62


This is the only independent portrait by Gossart that is signed; the scroll reads, "Joannes Malbodius pingebat." The sitter is turned to the left in a three-quarter view against a dark background, a format that derives from the earlier portraiture tradition of Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling. Like his predecessors, Gossart paid careful attention to tiny details such as the stubble of the beard and the individually painted hairs of the eyebrows, but he emphasized the sculptural form of the sitter in a new and bold way.