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Recent cleaning has revealed the high quality of this charming portrait, visible in the careful charcoal underdrawing, and the delicate execution of details such as the fur trimming of the jacket. Pentimenti are visible in the changed position of the boy’s hat, and infra-red photography reveals that the artist altered the position of the hands. Originally, the boy’s right hand grasped a sword at his right hip, while his left hand rested on his waist. This would have implied that the sitter would draw his sword with his left hand at a time when left-handedness was still a social stigma. The hands were accordingly re-positioned with the sword at the left hip and a bouquet of flowers in the boy’s right hand.

The Wallace Collection





oil on oak panel


H 36 x W 26.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Francis Charles Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquess of Hertford, at an unknown date; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type



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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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