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John Milton (1608–1674)

Photo credit: Manchester Art Gallery

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A portrait painting depicting the head and neck of John Milton from a left-hand perspective. He is depicted blind and with shoulder-length hair, represented in a linear style suggestive of a relief carving. The head is framed within a compact wreath of entwined fruiting bay and oak from the lower right side, off which hangs an apple. Extending from the right to the left of the composition, behind the portrait, is a crested serpent seen against a dark background. Its tail is in a loop and its head features a wide-opened fanged mouth carrying an apple. The head is coiled round to face the portrait, seen in profile to the right from the perspective of the viewer. Palm trees enclose the image on the extreme right and left, against the palm on the left rests a harp, and a pipe is depicted next to the right hand palm.

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester


Date

c.1800–1803

Medium

tempera on canvas

Measurements

H 40.1 x W 90.9 cm

Accession number

1885.3

Acquisition method

purchased from Thomas Agnew and Sons Ltd, 1885

Work type

Painting

Inscription description

Unsigned.


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Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester M2 3JL England

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