Circle of Anthonis Mor van Dashorst (about 1516/19 – 1575/76)

Portrait of an Unknown Ecclesiastic

Probably Antwerp, 1540s

Oil on wood

66.3 x 51 cm

The sitter in this fine portrait is identified as a member of the senior clergy by his costume: the rochet with narrow pleats and fur almuce on his left arm indicate he may have been a prelate or bishop. The panel has been cut down slightly at the top and bottom. Technical analysis has also revealed that the position of both hands has been changed – originally the right hand held the book – and these may have been painted by a different artist. The book, with its gold or gilded clasp, is presumably for devotional use, perhaps a book of hours or Bible.

Purchased 1943 (No.43.5)