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Painting Title Portrait of a Gentleman
Alternative Title Portrait of a Man
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist Attributed to Scorel, Jan van (North Netherlandish painter and draftsman, 1495-1562)
Date Earliest possibly about 1530
Date Latest about 1550

A half-length figure of a man in a dark coat trimmed with black and wearing a beret looks left. The sitter wears a simple black coat over a white shirt ruffled at the collar and a black beret, which follow the fashion of the 1530s. A proposed attribution to Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen (c.1500–1559), who was a friend of Jan Scorel, does not seem convincing. The traditional attribution to Jan Scorel, proposed by Max Friedländer, although also uncertain (YORAG : 748 shows slightly softer gradation of light and shadow than the other portraits attributed to Scorel), seems to be the best choice for now. Jan van Scorel (1495-1562) was an influential Netherlandish painter, influenced by Jan Gossaert, and possibly collaborating with Maarten van Heemskerck. He travelled through Europe - visiting Venice, Nuremberg, Obervellach (Austria), Rome (where he worked also for the Pope) - and even made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Upon his return to the Netherlands in 1524, he settled in Utrecht.

Current Accession Number YORAG : 748
Subject portrait (man)
Measurements 45.7 x 38.7 cm
Material oil on panel (oak)
Acquisition Details Given by F.D. Lycett Green through the National Art Collections Fund 1955.
Provenance Sir Robert Holford; by descent to Sir George Lindsay Holford; his sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 17 May 1928, lot 41; Savile Gallery, from whom purchased by F.D. Lycett Green 1930.
Principal Exhibitions The Old Master and the Deceased Masters of British School, Royal Academy, London, 1893, no. 166 as School of Holbein; Winter Exhibition, Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1921-22, no. 8 as School of Joesten van Calcar, ca. 1520; F.D. Lycett Green Gift, York City Art Gallery, 1955, no. 23.
Publications Friedländer, M., Altniederländische Malerei, vol. 12, Leyden-Berlin, 1935, p. 205, no. 568; reproduced by Hoogerwerff, G. J., Noord-NederlandscheSchilderkunst, vol. 4, `S-Gravanhage, 1941-42, pl. 125 as by Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen; Nicholson, B., ‘The Lycett Green Gift to York', The Burlington Magazine, XCVII, April 1955, p. 99; PREVIEW. City of York Art Gallery Quarterly, 30, April 1955, vol. VIII, p. 310; York Art Gallery Catalogue - Catalogue of Paintings, Vol. I: Foreign Schools 1350-1800, City of York Art Gallery, York, 1961, pp. 61-62, pl. 38; Friedländer, M., Early Netherlandish Painting, vol. XII, Leyden 1975, p. 127, no. 368, pl. 195; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 330.

Francis Denis Lycett Green (1893-1959) was a member of the wealthy industrial Green family from Wakefield that was among the great philanthropic benefactors of York. He began buying pictures during the 1920s, advised by some of the most famous art historians of the day. By the 1940s, he owned examples from almost every school and period of European Art – a comprehensive collection of over 130 paintings dating back from the early 14th century to the end of the 18th century, representing every important European school of art. In 1952, he offered it to the National Gallery of South Africa, having moved to Cape Town in the hope that the climate would improve his health (which was poor because he was badly injured in the First World War). However when a dispute arose with the Cape Town Gallery, Francis withdrew his pictures in protest and shipped them back to England. The entire collection of 130 pictures was at first on loan to the York Art Gallery and in the spring of 1955 he decided to give it to the Gallery.

Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka



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