Overall 1 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (43 x 38 mm); feigned oval portrait 1 1/4 x 1 1/8 in. (32 x 28 mm)
Gift of Cornelius Vanderbilt, 1880
Not on view
Inscription: Inscribed: (around portrait, in black) EN TIBI CALVITIEM VENERANDI OSTENDO MEIONIS IVRIS QVI IGNAROS NVNC RVDIMENTA DOCET; (bottom edge, partially illegible) [?5 or Ao] 68
Cornelius Vanderbilt, New York (until 1880)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "European Miniatures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 5, 1996–January 5, 1997, no. 237.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hand-Book No. 8: . . Drawings by Old Masters, Etchings, Photographs, and Tapestries. [New York], , p. 15, no. 180, as by an unknown artist.
Graham Reynolds with the assistance of Katharine Baetjer. European Miniatures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1996, p. 181, no. 237, ill., state that "although the miniature has been classified as French, it might be from a Northern European country, probably one that had adopted the reformed religion, since the austere costume is in keeping with the standards of Geneva".
This is an early eaxample of an oil miniature.
The inscription, which indicates that it represents a respected teacher, may be translated: "Behold, I display my baldness to you, venerable sir, who now teaches the ignorant the rudiments of the law of [Meionis]". The last word has yet to be explained.