(b. 1395, Pisa, d. 1455, Roma)
Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg1433
Black chalk and pen on paper, 314 x 307 mm
Musée du Louvre, Paris
The two portrait drawings of 1433 by Pisanello (now in the Louvre), depicting Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg (1368-1437), constitute the first datable portraits by the artist. Sigismund was one of the most tenacious rulers of Europe: margrave of Brandenburg (1378), king of Hungary (from 1387), king of the Romans (from 1414), king of Bohemia (1419-20, 1436-37), and Holy Roman Emperor (1433-37). The drawings testify the process by which Pisanello transformed a rapidly executed record of his sitter into a formal portrait suitable for a court. The drawings must have been made during Sigismund's two-year sojourn in Italy.