I Lucas Cranach

Potrait of Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg

Potrait of Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg
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Author: I Lucas Cranach
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on canvas, 40x24.5 cm
Origin: Germany, 1526

Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg , Archbishop of Magdeburg, Administrator of the Diocese of Halberstadt and from 1514 Elector and Archbishop of Mainz. A leading political figure during the Reformation, he was head of the Catholic Church in Germany and a known patron of the arts. It is possible that Cranach never actually saw him and took as the basis for this portrait of the prelate Durer's engraving of the sitter . There are four surviving half-length portraits of the Cardinal by Cranach, and that in the Hermitage is one of the best. Albrecht is shown in his red cardinal's hat, wearing a rich black fur coat with a fur collar. Set against the smooth green ground is his coat of arms. The calm, triangular composition, the important pose and haughty gaze create a monumental image of a Church grandee, a man of great individuality. The portrait of Cardinal Albrecht is evidence of the artist's indifference to the religious conflicts which dominated German politics and society. Neither his friendship with Luther and like-minded men, nor his status as court artist to the Elector of Saxony - who headed the reformist coalition of princes - prevented Cranach from working very hard for the Catholic Church.

Style: Renaissance
Source of entry: Provenance: before 1797
Exibition: German Art: 15th - 18th centuries

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