Museums and Art

Portrait of Chancellor Jean Carondele, Jan Gossaert (Mabuse) - description

Portrait of Chancellor Jean Carondele, Jan Gossaert (Mabuse) - description

Portrait of Chancellor Jean Carondele - Jan Gossaert (Mabuse). 27 x 43 cm

The portraits of the Flemish Jan Gossaert, nicknamed Mabuse, are worth a closer look, as the artist devoted a lot of time and effort to writing them. The thoroughness of the depiction, expressiveness, a huge sense of dignity of the posing person, regardless of which class he belongs to, all this creates a special style of the portraitist Mabuze.

After a trip to Italy, Mabuse was influenced by the forms of the Renaissance, but in “Portrait of Chancellor Jean Carondele”, written in 1517, perhaps he is nevertheless closer to the traditions of the Dutch school of painting.

Jean Carondele lawyer, who began his career as dean of the university, later - a famous politician and adviser to Charles V, member of the Brussels Privy Council, Burgundy clergyman, Archbishop of Palermo. The Chancellor is an important figure in the state, but he is very generous to his friends and creative people, including the painter Mabuse.

Gossart depicts Jean Carondele in a “three-quarters” turn, which always lends an image of dynamism and liveliness. He is wearing dark clothes trimmed with narrow stripes of fur. A face with clear and sculptural features, framed by a light cap of dark hair, expresses kindness, humility and restraint.

It looks like he is about 50 years old, what is the character of this person, it is difficult to say, since the author depicts him at the moment of spiritual prayer.

Eloquent eyes and palms, on which the artist focuses. The Chancellor’s hands are folded in prayer of thanks, and his look is spiritualized and knowingly sad. Perhaps because he prays to the Holy Virgin with the baby Jesus in his arms and he knows the whole difficult path that this child must go.

Why the virgin, the viewer asks? But because the portrait of Chancellor Carondele is not alone. The mabuse draws it in a diptych, where the second part is an image of a madonna and child.


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