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Conserving the Man in Red

Detail from the portrait 'Man in red', showing his capped head
Portrait of a Man in Red©

This painting is one of the most enigmatic sixteenth century portraits in the Royal Collection.

It is a visually arresting image: painted full-length, nearly two metres tall, the man is silhouetted against an apparently imaginary landscape with the suggestion of buildings and ruins on the left and curious rock formations on the right.

In the two years in the lead up to its display in the exhibition In Fine Style, the painting underwent conservation treatment at the Hamilton Kerr Institute in Cambridge.

Treatment involved stabilising and rejoining a crack in the panel as well as removing later layers of overpaint and heavily discoloured varnish. Technical analysis has enabled us to learn more about when and where the painting was made.  Read on to find out more

In Fine Style
Traces changing tastes in fashionable attire in Great Britain in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.