Portrait of a Gentleman, 1579.
Attributed to Francois Quesnel (1543-1619)
“The close attention to detail in the face, twinned with the somewhat naive approach to the costume, is a hallmark of Francois Quesnel”
Oil on panel (walnut)
22x17 inches, 55.8 x 43.2 cm
Collection of Lt. Col. J. Dundas of Camberley by 1919; Scottish Private Collection.
This unusually vivid portrait was painted in 1579. The style and technique is similar to that used in French portraiture of the late 17thCentury. The wood used for the panel, walnut, also suggests a French origin. However, the portrait has been in a Scottish private collection, and it may be that the sitter is Scottish. There were close political and artistic links between Scotland and France in the sixteenth century during the ‘Auld Alliance’ against England, and a number of French artists practiced in Edinburgh, among them the Quesnels.
The close attention to detail in the face, twinned with the somewhat naive approach to the costume, is a hallmark of Francois Quesnel. He was born in Edinburgh, where his father, Pierre, worked for James V and Mary of Guise.