70.17ter the old frame for this piece is on P65B MS; Italian wood tabernacle cassetta frame, ca. 1600 (reframed 1992), H.46-1/4 x W.44 in.

Portrait of a Cardinal in his Study, c. 1510-1520

The unknown sitter in this portrait, wearing the crimson cassock and cap of a cardinal, is depicted as a humanist scholar. Through the open window can be seen the figure of Saint Jerome, the 4th-century biblical scholar, often portrayed in medieval art as a kneeling hermit. He is identified by a broad-brimmed cardinal's hat and the lion that was his legendary companion. During the Renaissance, however, Saint Jerome was frequently shown as a cultured man of learning in his study—a representation this sitter clearly wished his portrait to suggest.

The identities of both artist and sitter have long been debated. The most persuasive evidence indicates that Lorenzo Costa painted a high-ranking prelate, possibly Cardinal Bibbiena, while court painter in Mantua, a sophisticated center of humanist culture.

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Costa, Portrait of a Cardinal in His Study (#478)
Details
Title
Portrait of a Cardinal in his Study
Artist Life
Italian (Emilia), 1460–1535
Role
Artist
Accession Number
70.17
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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70.17ter the old frame for this piece is on P65B MS; Italian wood tabernacle cassetta frame, ca. 1600 (reframed 1992), H.46-1/4 x W.44 in.