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Unknown Man in Van Dyke-style dress

1 of 292 portraits of Unknown sitter

Unknown Man in Van Dyke-style dress, by John Partridge, 1825 - NPG 3944(11) - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Unknown Man in Van Dyke-style dress

by John Partridge
pencil, 1825
9 3/8 in. x 7 1/4 in. (239 mm x 185 mm)
Purchased, 1955
Primary Collection
NPG 3944(11)


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  • John Partridge (1789-1872), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 41 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.

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The serious business of establishing the British academy in Rome did nothing to stem the fun and games that were enjoyed by its founder members. The masked ball was a favourite entertainment among the expat British artists in the city, but in order to attend, fancy dress was essential. Although the identity of this sitter is unknown, Partridge's portrait reflects a British artist's desire to dress up in Rome. The choice of van Dyck-style dress, with lace collar and cloak, may not only have related to a masquerade but could also have referred to the long tradition of timeless attire favoured by portrait painters from the late seventeenth century.

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