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Portrait of a Man with a Pink

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on panel.




Quentin Massys (Netherlandish, 1466-1530)

About this artwork

In this portrait from relatively early in his career, Quentin Massys followed stylistic conventions that appealed to Antwerp’s growing market of patrons while also exhibiting the bold innovations that ultimately made him one of city’s most influential painters. The sitter appears frozen in a somewhat unnatural pose, as was the fashion for half-length portraits at the time, and the positioning of his left hand on the painting’s lower edge recalls the spatial illusionism found in portraits by Netherlandish artists of the previous generation. However, the subtle modeling of the face conveys a strong sense of the sitter’s individual character at a time when such works tended to idealize their subjects. The pink, or carnation, held by the sitter could symbolize marriage or Jesus Christ’s incarnation.


On View, Gallery 207


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Quentin Massys


Portrait of a Man with a Pink


Netherlands (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on panel


43.8 × 29.2 cm (17 1/4 × 11 1/2 in.); Painted surface: 43.2 × 28.4 cm (17 × 11 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of John J. Glessner

Reference Number


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