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.
Where to see this painting?
The Wallace Collection
Not all paintings are on display. If you want to see a particular painting, please contact the collection