Requires Photography

Portrait of a Man

about 1610
Possibly by Unidentified artist, Flemish


7.2 x 5.8 cm (2 13/16 x 2 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on metal

On View

Alyce Morrissey Gallery (Kunstkammer) (Gallery 143)





Due to their intimate scale and careful finish, portrait miniatures were cherished objects in the 16th and 17th centuries. Often stored in purpose-built locked cabinets, they were presented as tokens of friendship or diplomatic gifts and shown only to close acquaintances. These two portraits are executed on comparatively expensive and durable copper supports, which reflect light to enhance their luminous, jewel-like appearances. The sitters’ identities are not known, but their fine cambric collars edged with needlepoint lace indicate that they came from the highest echelon of European society.


About 1959, acquired in Europe (possibly the Netherlands) by Ruth Van Sciver Ketcham Lauer (b. 1906 – d. 2005), Pennsylvania; 1999, by inheritance to her daughter, Barbara Wheaton, Lexington, MA; 2012, gift of Barbara Wheaton to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 24, 2012)

Credit Line

Gift of Barbara Ketcham Wheaton in memory of Ruth Van Sciver Ketcham Lauer