This wooden painted figure standing alone is a boy holding an alphabet board without the letters 'J', 'U' or 'W'. It looks as if the figure has been cut out of a provincial Spanish portrait and then mounted on an ebonised wood base. These types of pictures are not really paintings but furniture and are called dummy boards or, to quote Vita Sackville-West, 'silent companions'. They were usually found greeting guests in the entrance halls of houses, or were used as firescreens.
Where to see this painting?
National Trust, Castle Drogo
Drawsteignton, near Exeter, Devon, England, EX6 6PB
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.