Corneille de Lyon

di Paul Jeromack

The wearin’ of the green (backgrounds): If you have been following me for awhile, you know of my love of early Corneille de Lyon before his style smoothed out to flatter his patrons at the French court. These early portraits, executed on small panels without any underdrawing are amongst the greatest portraits of the 16th century. The grandest of them is this portrait of a man with a blond beard in the Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna. It is so different than all other works by the artist that some believe it is not by him (it is catalogued by the museum as ‘circle of’) but I think the discrepancies between this and such other portraits as the dark-haired “Man Holding Gloves” in the Metropolitan Museum can be explained by the big fellows very fair skin and blond facial hair.

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