Portrait of a Woman

Bartholomus Bruyn the Elder1534

Renaissance and Reformation. German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach

Renaissance and Reformation. German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach

Bruyn helped portraiture achieve a breakthrough in Cologne. Although the city remained Catholic, the portrait became the most important brief for a painting in the first half of the sixteenth century. With tasteful but expensive clothing, the unknown couple emphasized it belonged to the upper class of the bourgeoisie. The calm poses and relaxed facial expressions of both sitters express dignity. The carnation in the woman’s hand is a symbol of marital affection.

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  • Title: Portrait of a Woman
  • Creator: Bartholomäus Bruyn the Elder
  • Date Created: 1534
  • Physical Dimensions: 42 × 30 cm
  • Technique and Material: Oak
  • Provenance: Acquired in 1904 as a donation from James Simon, Berlin
  • Museum: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie
  • Inv.-No.: S. 21
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-017018
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/gemaeldegalerie/home.html
  • Copyright: Photo © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie/ Jörg P. Anders; Text © Renaissance and Reformation: German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach, A Cooperation of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen München, Catalogue of the Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Nov 20, 2016 – March 26, 2017, Munich: Prestel, 2016; cat. no. 100 / Stephan Kemperdick
  • Catalogue: https://prestelpublishing.randomhouse.de/book/Renaissance-and-Reformation/Stephanie-Buck/Prestel-com/e504919.rhd
  • Artist Dates: 1493 Lower Rhine–1555 Cologne
  • Artist Biography: The painter, who trained with Jan Joest van Kalkar from 1505, is documented as a master in Cologne from 1515. Bruyn, who headed a large workshop, stood out for his altarpieces but above all as a portraitist of the Cologne bourgeoisie. Whereas Bruyn’s paintings were influenced initially by Netherlandish painting (by Joos van Cleve, among others), Italian influences are evident in his oeuvre from the 1530s onward.