Portrait of a Man

Hugo van der Goes Netherlandish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 602

The heightened realism of this portrait, especially the beard stubble, is a hallmark of Hugo van der Goes’s work. By setting the man’s head against a dark interior, next to a bright window, the accentuated contrast of light and shadow enhances the modeling of the facial features. The portrait was later cut into an oval shape from a rectangular panel, which probably originally formed part of a devotional triptych. The sitter, with his hands joined in prayer, directs his gaze toward the missing religious image.

Portrait of a Man, Hugo van der Goes (Netherlandish, Ghent, active by 1467–died 1482 Roode-Klooster), Oil on wood

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