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Portrait of a Nobleman with Dueling Gauntlet

Artist/maker unknown, active Emilia?, Italian

Made in Italy, Europe
Possibly made in Emilia, Italy, Europe


Oil on canvas

6 feet 5 inches × 42 3/4 inches (195.6 × 108.6 cm) Framed: 6 feet 11 3/4 inches × 48 3/4 inches × 3 inches (212.7 × 123.8 × 7.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 349, Arms and Armor, third floor (Kretzschmar von Kienbusch Galleries)

Accession Number:
Cat. 238

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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In sixteenth-century Europe it became fashionable among noblemen to be portrayed standing in armor and posing with martial objects such as maces, commander's batons, or helmets—a reference to their supposed or demonstrated aptitude as warriors and military leaders. The unidentified man in this portrait wears civilian clothes along with a mail shirt; one hand rests on a gauntlet specifically designed for grabbing the blades of swords in duels. The costly hilts of his rapier (sword) and matching dagger, which the artist has depicted here with great care, compete with his face for the viewer's attention.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.