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image P100

Unidentified artist

Study of a man's head: one of the Fathers


Italy, painted

Oil on canvas

Height: 91.8cm
Width: 71.1cm

Inscription: Latin inscription on the lower half of the left page of the open book from De Officiis by Cicero and Latin inscription on the upper right page of the open book similar to a passage in Hesiod's Work and Days, lines 21-26; the inscription is close but not the same as modern translations and the last line seems to have been changed by the artist from a reference to a poet's jealously of another poet to a painter's jealousy of another painter.
Inscription: 1699

Museum number: P100

Curatorial note

Soane recorded this work as 'Venetian'; Sir John Summerson in the 1940s suggested that it might be Genoese School and suggested Bernardo Strozzi. However, the date 1699 at the bottom of the painting puts it outside his lifetime.

This work was not framed until after Sir John Soane's death and therefore does not hang in the Museum. Soane kept it unframed in one of the drawers in his Model Room. It was put into a frame by the first Curator, George Bailey, in 1838.

Please note that as the Museum's arrangements are preserved as they were at the time of Soane's death this work does not hang in a public area and may only be viewed by appointment.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Unknown: the picture was in Soane's possession by 1836-37 (it appears in draft inventories of that date).

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk