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Man in a Turban, Oil by Jan Van Eyck (1395-1441, Netherlands)
The Portrait of a Man, also often known as Portrait of a Man in a Turban, or in a red turban, etc, is an oil painting by the Early Netherlandish master Jan van Eyck, from 1433. It has been in the National Gallery, London since 1851, having been in England since Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel acquired it, probably during his exile in Antwerp from 1642-44. The original frame survives (the vertical sides are in fact a single piece of wood with the central panel), and has the painted inscription JOHES DE EYCK ME FECIT ANO MCCCC.33. 21. OCTOBRIS ("Jan Van Eyck Made Me on October 21, 1433") at the bottom and at the top the motto AlC IXH XAN ("I Do as I Can"), which appears on other van Eyck paintings, always written in Greek letters, and includes a pun on his name. As on other van Eyck frames, the letters are painted to appear carved. Like all Van Eyck's portraits, it shows a sharp and detailed analysis of the physical lines. It is however without any treatment of the subject's thoughts and moods. The subject is often thought to be van Eyck himself, though there is no direct evidence for this. The costume is appropriate for a man of van Eyck's social position, and the motto is his personal one, otherwise only appearing on two surviving religious paintings, two more known only from copies, and the portrait of his wife. In none is it as prominent as here.
Jan Van Eyck
Jan Van Eyck