Bartholomaeus Bruyn the Younger
German, c. 1530–c. 1607
Portrait of a Man, c. 1560
oil on panel
67.8 x 51.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Lord and Lady Gort
Bartholomaeus Bruyn the Younger was one of the most respected portrait painters working in Cologne, Germany, in the mid-sixteenth century. This half-length, three-quarter view portrait of a man, whose identity remains unknown, typifies Bruyn’s conservative style and formalized approach to portraiture. Presented against a dark background, the sitter is shown with various costly accoutrements, including a fur-trimmed black coat, a crisp white-collared shirt, and a gold signet ring, all of which identify him as a citizen of wealth and status. The presence of the red prayer book in his right hand may speak to his faith and formal education. The WAG panel is likely one of a pair of portraits featuring a husband and wife. The male portrait would have hung to the (viewer’s) left, occupying the place of honour, and the woman’s portrait would have been on the right.