Anthony, John and William Browne with an unidentified man – Isaac Oliver

isaac_oliver_brothers_browne

Today’s post is the eighth of fourteen postcard posts, where I draw a card at random from my big box of them and try to say what I think about it. Here’s the rest of them.

They have really tiny feet! Even the unidentified chap who looks like he’s wearing old school football boots. It’s a wonder they don’t topple over.

The unidentified man looks like I’ve felt every time I’ve been to a wedding where I only know the bride. I like how he’s looking at us with none of the self-satisfaction that I read into the Brownes’ faces. He looks less fashionable than the brothers – I think, I’m hardly an expert on the fashions of 1598 –  I notice that they have gone for subtler lace collars of the sort that you still see in later portraits. I love the way the brothers look posed and easily familiar with each other at the same time: it reminds me of the portraits of the Brown sisters (I didn’t realise the coincidence of the name until I was looking for that link).

I have no memory of seeing this picture or buying the postcard, but I know what will have drawn me to this picture: it’s the mystery of the fourth man and the texture of the brothers’ outfits. What does he want, that fourth guy? Why has he alone taken his hat off?

Advertisements