Portrait of a Young Man

Jan Mostaert, 1525 - 1530

WAG 1018

About this object

A scene from the life of St. Hubert appears behind the sitter. While out hunting on Good Friday, the pleasure-loving Hubert saw a stag with a vision of the crucifix between its antlers. He renounced his worldly way of life, turned to Christianity, became a bishop, then a saint. The scene is perhaps included here because the young man belonged to a guild dedicated to the saint.

From 1519 to 1521 Mostaert was a court painter to the Regent of the Netherlands, Margaret of Austria. But this portrait was probably painted when Mostaert returned to Haarlem, where there was a guild devoted to St. Hubert.

This painting came from the collection of the Dutch ambassador Hendrik Fagel junior. When Roscoe bought it in 1813 it was said to be by the major Dutch printmaker Lucas van Leyden (about 1494-1533). Roscoe thought it was a self-portrait of the artist dressed as St Hubert.
The artist’s high reputation and the painting’s good condition helps explain why it was one of the paintings that sold for a high price in Roscoe’s bankruptcy sale in 1816 - £48.6.0d. (£48.30p).

From 1819 it was displayed in the Liverpool Royal Institution as a self-portrait by Lucas van Leyden. There it gained favourable comment from the public.

Object specifics

  • Other title(s)
    Portrait of a Young Man with the conversion of St Hubert
  • Artist(s)
    Jan Mostaert (Dutch, born:1475 about, died:1555 - 1556)
  • Date
    1525 - 1530
  • Materials
    Oil paint; Tempera; Hardwood; Oak
  • Measurements
    panel: 95.2 cm x 74.4 cm
  • Physical description
    In the foreground to the right is a young man He is slightly turned and looking to the left. Figures, horses and dogs in the background on the left with two trees, and also a prominent white stag with a crucifix between its horns, in front of which a man is kneeling. Behind him is a black servant or groom tending to the kneeling man's horse. In the centre of teh background there is a castle with a road winding through the middle of the composition.
  • Related people
    Peter Crompton (Previous owner) ; Hendrik Fagel (Junior) (Previous owner) ; François Fagel (the Elder) (Previous owner) ; Liverpool Royal Institution (Previous owner) ; Jan Mostaert (Artist/maker) ; William Roscoe (Previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 1018; John Mills Photography Number: JM8110-21; John Mills Photography Number: JM34463-1; Conservation Photography Number: C94-485
  • Credit line
    Presented to the Walker Art Gallery by the Liverpool Royal Institution in 1948
  • Location
    Walker Art Gallery, Room 01, 1.2
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Previous owners

  • Liverpool Royal Institution

    Owned from: 1819
    How acquired: Presented to by Dr. Peter Crompton
    Owned until: 1948
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Peter Crompton

    Owned from: 1816-09-28
    How acquired: Purchased at auction at Winstanley's, Liverpool of Roscoe's collection lot 149
    Owned until: 1819
    Disposal method: Donation
  • William Roscoe

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1816-09-28
    Disposal method: Sold at auction Winstanley's, Liverpool
  • Hendrik Fagel (Junior)

    Owned from: 1790
    How acquired: By descent
    Owned until: 1813-03-15
    Disposal method: Sold at auction Phillips, London lot 41 bt by Emmerson for £29 8shillings
  • François Fagel (the Elder)

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1744
    Disposal method: Bequest to his nephew Hendrik Fagel the Elder (1706-1790)
Object view = Fine Art
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