Head of a Man Wearing a Turban (from Life-Sized Heads, First Series)

Artist: Thomas Frye (Irish, Edenderry 1711/12–1762 London)

Date: 1760

Medium: Mezzotint; second state

Dimensions: Plate: 19 7/8 × 13 15/16 in. (50.5 × 35.4 cm)
Sheet: 23 3/8 × 16 15/16 in. (59.4 × 43 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Purchase, Harry G. Friedman Bequest, 1966

Accession Number: 66.695.7


In 1760, the pastel portraitist and porcelain manufacturer Thomas Frye published Twelve Mezzotinto Prints, from Designs in the Manner of Piazetta, Drawn from Nature and as Large as Life. Frye's evocative figures, although presumably based on living models, exceed the conventions of portraiture, and also function as character studies. The man shown here—dressed in the fashionable "Turkish" manner—turns with parted lips as if poised to speak, while raising the elegant fingers of one hand in a rhetorical gesture. His long blond eyelashes and smoothly rendered wrinkles and dimples are hallmarks of Frye's refined style.