Portrait of Cardinal Cristoforo Madruzzo (1552) by Titian

Portrait of Cardinal Cristoforo Madruzzo - Titian - 1552

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Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Cardinal Cristoforo Madruzzo
Dimensions210 x 109 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationMuseo de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP), Sao Paulo, Brazil

About Portrait of Cardinal Cristoforo Madruzzo

The artwork “Portrait of Cardinal Cristoforo Madruzzo,” a distinguished painting by Titian dating back to 1552, is a prime example of the Mannerism movement within the Late Renaissance period. Crafted using oil on canvas, it measures 210 by 109 centimeters and is categorized as a portrait genre piece. This impressive work is currently housed at the Museo de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP) in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The artwork presents an imposing figure of Cardinal Cristoforo Madruzzo, dressed in the regalia befitting a man of his ecclesiastical stature. The cardinal is depicted in a standing pose, dominating the canvas with a commanding presence. His attire is somber and formal, consisting of a black robe with a hint of his white clerical collar visible at the neckline, and complemented with a biretta – his black square cap which indicates his status within the Catholic Church.

Madruzzo’s expression is solemn and introspective, reflecting the gravity of his office. His left hand is gently placed on a table, next to what appears to be a document or letter, indicating perhaps his engagement in the matters of the Church or state. A rich drapery of a deep red hue serves as the backdrop for the cardinal, adding a sense of drama and intensity to the composition. The careful attention to the details of his clothing and the naturalism in his portrayal are indicative of Titian’s mastery in capturing not just the physical likeness but also the psychological complexity of his subjects. The verticality of the painting and the lifelike rendition of the figure are hallmarks of Titian’s skill, exemplifying the fusion of realism and sophistication characteristic of the Mannerism art movement.

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