An unknown Gentleman
An unknown Gentleman
An unknown Gentleman
An unknown Gentleman


An unknown Gentleman

c. 1530 Germany

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wearing black cap and robes, set against a blue background
gouache on vellum, set in a gilt- metal frame with pierced spiral cresting , engraved on reverse Justus Jonas/ Reformer/ d.1555/ Lucas Cranach ?/ 39

The inscription on the reverse of the frame identifying the sitter as Justus Jonas (1493-1555), a pastor in Halle and Coburg and a friend of Martin Luther's, is probably incorrect as it did not show any similarity with other known images of him.

The attribution to Lucas Cranach on the reverse is also unlikely, as, apart from the fact that Cranach is not recorded as having painted miniatures, the style of the present portrait if closer to that of Hans Holbein. It is therefore, probable that this miniature is by an artist of a North German group whose work closely relates to that of Hans Holbein. Similar examples can be seen in the Wallace Collection, London (cf. Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Miniatures, London, 1980, p. 39, no. 4.)

We are grateful to the late Jim Murrell of the Conservation Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum, for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.
Generally in good condition, although there are traces of 17th century restoration in the background, cloak and hat. It has been trimmed down.
J. Lumsden Propert
London, Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1889, no..53 (erroneously stated to be by Hans Holbein).
Comerford Collection at the Irish Architectural Archives in Dublin, in 2009.
Lumsden Propert, The History of Portrait miniatures, 1887, p.59 (erroneously stated to be of Erasmus of Rotterdam , by Nicholas Hilliard?
The Comerford Collection: Portrait Miniatures (Dublin, privately published, 2009), pp 7, 20 (#40)
Height 4.70 cm (1.85 inches)
Stock Code
gouache on vellum
Ellison Fine Art

Ellison Fine Art
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