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This is inaccurate because he was said to be 72 years old at his death in 1608, but it is possible that the artist incorrectly noted the detail of the inscription and put the sitter’s age at 63 instead of 65.The characteristics of the paint handling suggest that the portrait was produced in the early seventeenth century and there is therefore a very narrow gap, of no more than eleven years, between the first use of the panel for This panel was given to the Gallery in 1890 when it was thought to be a portrait of the Protestant theologian Richard Hooker (1554-1600).

This has a series of regular notches cut into it, which may record where pins were placed to attach the panel into a supporting structure or frame.The other edges of the panel are much rougher, which suggests that the panel has been trimmed at some point, possibly in order to remove it from a framework.This technique of analysis is undertaken with a specially modified camera and a bright light source.Infrared radiation is part of the spectrum of normal light.It clearly shows the underdrawing that marks out the details of the sitter’s face in a carbon medium.

The drawing follows a pattern for the features, but there are also freehand marks that model the face in a more three-dimensional manner.The infrared photograph also revealed the partial outlines of two figures painted beneath the portrait.The loose brushstrokes that mark out the profile of the figure on the left suggest that this underlying composition may be unfinished.There is no evidence of any damage to the underlying painting; the damage that is evident in the x-ray occurred when the painting was a portrait and not before.Dating the panel The panel is constructed from a single board of Eastern Baltic oak.Although the sitter and/or the individual who commissioned this portrait would probably have been unaware of it, technical analysis has shown that this panel has been reused.