(b. 1431, Isola di Carturo, d. 1506, Mantova)

Cardinal Ludovico Trevisan

Tempera on wood, 45 x 34 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Mantegna painted monumental likenesses that combine the particularity of Eyckian physiognomy with the authority of ancient Roman busts. The portrait of Cardinal Trevisan suggests a statue come to life, a bust animated by light washing over its forceful features. This portrait is one of the landmarks of Italian portraiture.

Cardinal Trevisan was a rich, powerful, and cultured figure who proved his military prowess in the Battle of Anghiari on June 29, 1440, between Milan and the Italian League, where he lead the papal troupes. He became cardinal in the same year.