Lavinia Fontana, Italian, 1552-1614
Title: Portrait of a Gentleman in Armour
Date: late 1590s
Medium: Oil on canvas
89 x 65 cm
Credit Line: Purchased, 1885
Object Number: NGI.460
DescriptionThis depiction of an unidentified man was painted by Lavinia Fontana, a Bolognese native famed for her portraiture and recognised as one of the first women in Europe to have achieved a successful public career as an artist. The subject stands with a hand on his hip and gazes boldly at the viewer, a smile touching the corners of his lips. Light reflects brilliantly against one side of his breastplate, and illuminates a helmet on the lower left where he proudly rests his other hand. Fontana has finished the painting with meticulous detail, from the intricate lace collar and cuffs to the delicate gold decoration applied to the armour.

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