Collection Online
Man in Ottoman dress
oil on canvas
76.3 × 61.2 cm (image) 76.8 × 61.5 cm (canvas)
Place/s of Execution
inscribed (vertically) in brown paint l.c.: (Arabic text) / Sig N (" under N) Nicola Hab / Trieste
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated by Luisa, Simona and Luca Valmorbida in memory of Carlo Valmorbida, 2010
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International
Jožef Tominc trained as an artist in Rome in proximity to his mentor and rival, Jean-Auguste-Dominque Ingres. Tominc spent his later career working in Vienna and the north Italian region of his birthplace, Gorizia and Trieste (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) where he was feted as the leading portrait painter in the neo-classical and Biedermeier traditions. This portrait of an unknown sitter in Ottoman attire was painted in Trieste, the cosmopolitan seaport of the Habsburg monarchy. One theory is that it was commissioned to document a stage in a marriage negotiation, based on the Arabic inscription in the letter, which reads: For your dowry: To the honoured Nicola al-Habib the jewel(s), for my respected uncle in Trieste.


The frame on Man in Ottoman dress takes the form of a classical revival scotia profile, painted black, with a gilded shield and dart ornament at the sight edge.
It uses corner joints mitred on the front, half lapped on the reverse. An adjustment to the rebate suggests the frame may be re-cycled to this painting.
It came with the painting in 2010.
The frame has a twentieth century counterpart made by C. Buhlmayer on Ammersee in winter, 1914, by Max Kahrer (2004.120)

Unknown - 19th century

timber, paint, composition, gold leaf