Portrait of a Man in a Winter Garment


Anonymous - Portrait of a Man in a Winter Garment
This ancestor portrait is one of the oldest in the collection of the National Gallery in Prague. It shows a man in a fur-lined dragon’s garment and blue overcoat. The work was done in the 18th–19th century and the figure’s naturally modelled facial features and rather simply rendered clothing (without attractive or tantalizing details) suggest the artwork may date to a time before Western painting techniques became widespread in the mid-19th century. The man’s face is realistically executed and his garment convincingly rendered, though not overly attractive, as would have been the case in later portraits catering to market demands. His hat is in line with the official hats of Qing dignitaries. Its mandarin square probably bears an egret, a symbol of the sixth civil rank in the official administrative hierarchy. The empty background and ornamental carpet whose perspective is different from the one realistically depicting a seated figure is another characteristic feature of formal ancestor portraits.
measurements: height 133 cm
width 70 cm
in collections:
material: Ink and colors on silk
technique: Painting
inventory number: Vm 13
gallery collection: Collection of Asian and African Art