Renaissance Portraits at the Rijksmuseum
Throughout the 15th & 16th centuries, increasing numbers of people had themselves immortalized by the artists of the day. This autumn, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam presents Remember Me, an exhibition featuring over a hundred Renaissance portraits of powerful emperors, flamboyant aristocrats & well-to-do citizens. Highlights include Petrus Christus’ delightful portrait of a young woman (c. 1470), well-known for its impassive sitter, and Titian’s portrait of Ranuccio Farnese (c. 1542), Pope Paul III’s tweenager grandson who was destined to become Archbishop of Naples two years later, dressed here as a Knight of Malta, in a cloak too large & heavy for a boy his age, sliding off his small shoulders.
The exhibition also includes one of my favourite portraits from the Mauritshuis in The Hague, that of King Henry VIII’s chief falconer Robert Cheseman (1533), by Hans Holbein the Younger, as well as the earliest portraits of African men in the history of European art, now on display together for the first time — a drawing from 1508 by Albrecht Dürer and a painting by Jan Mostaert from around twenty years later, depicting a man who was possibly Christophle le More, a personal bodyguard to Emperor Charles V. Renaissance portraits are rare & fragile, and what makes this exhibition special is that it boasts so many blockbuster-calibre loans. Remember Me runs until 16 January 2022.rijksmuseum.nl