UNKNOWN MASTER, Austrian
(active 1520s in Tirol)

Mary of Burgundy

1528
Oil on fir panel, 44 x 31 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The picture shows Mary, Duchess of Burgundy (1457-1482), the first wife of Archduke Maximilian of Austria, later Holy Roman Emperor. This posthumous portrait is one of the five extant profile portraits of the sitter.

The painting was attributed to various painters, Hans Maler became the favoured attribution. In the 1990s, the investigation of the reverse of the panel revealed another (overpainted) image of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, as well as an inscription and a date. The monogram on the reverse shows the superimposed letters AH or HA and the date 1528 which was already present when the image of the Virgin was added in the late seventeenth or the eighteenth century. Thus the painting may now be assigned to the Master A.H. or H.A. who was perhaps an artist from Tirol.




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