(b. ca. 1500, Kreuznach, d. ca. 1553, Frankfurt)

Portrait of a Man with a Moor's Head on His Signet Ring

c. 1535
Oil, gold, and white metal on linden panel, 53 x 35 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The bearded sitter in this portrait is shown half length, wearing a broad-brimmed hat over a gold-embroidered cap. With his left hand he grips the hilt of a sword, whose pommel bears an image of St George Slaying the Dragon. One of the man's two rings displays a gold shield bearing a profile Moor's head with a silver headband. The background includes a walled city at the right surrounded by cultivated fields, patches of forest, and hamlets. The portrait was probably originally paired with a pendant of the sitter's wife, though none has been identified.

The signet ring bears a Moor's head, a common heraldic device, which has prompted several attempts at identification of the sitter. However, the question of identification remains unresolved.

Faber is known to have used recognizable city views in his landscapes, and the city in the right background of the present painting appears to be Nuremberg.

Formerly the painting was attributed to the Master of the Holzhausen Portraits, named after a group of likenesses of the Holzhausen family of Frankfurt, now in the Städel Museum there. This master had been identified as Conrad Faber von Creuznach.