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Caballero desconocido con bigote

19th century Unidentified (Puerto Rican) watercolor on ivory 2 3/8 x 2 in. (6.0 x 5.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Teodoro Vidal Collection 1996.91.26 Not currently on view


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The unidentified artist who painted this mustachioed gentleman probably received no formal training. The sitter’s head perches atop an exaggerated coat collar and cravat, emphasizing the figure’s awkward proportions. The painter gave most of his attention to the man’s refined features and costume, which imply the social aspirations of a caballero, or minor knight. Conservation of this miniature was made possible through a generous grant provided by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

Keywords

Portrait male - unidentified - waist length

painting - miniature

paint - watercolor

ivory