(b. 1526, Milano, d. 1593, Milano)

The Jurist

Oil on canvas, 64 x 51 cm
Gripsholm Castle, Mariefred

This painting is a half-length male portrait. The face is made up of fishes and plucked fowls, the head is covered by a black hat and the fur-lined cloak is open at the front to reveal that the torso consists of books and manuscripts. The manuscripts project above the neckband to form a collar. The figure is terminated below by two volumes.

According to contemporary sources, the painting is a portrait of the vice-chancellor of Emperor Maximilian, who was disfigured by an accident and, in addition, had a congenital swelling on one cheek. The portrait testifies to the fascination of the period with abnormality and deformity.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.