Visual portraits of the business élite are widely disseminated, and form significant sites for communicating messages regarding leadership and associated intellectual, symbolic and social intangibles, yet have been neglected in accounting research. At the same time, accounting for intangibles is recognised to be inadequate. This inter-disciplinary article constructs a framework from art theory to interpret portraits of the business élite and their associated [in]visible [in]tangibles. Four sets of rhetorical codes in portraiture are identified: physical, dress, spatial and interpersonal. Illustrative portraits from annual reports and the media are analysed to indicate how [in]visible [in]tangibles are portrayed through visual rhetoric.