During a peace congress in Arras in 1435, van Eyck produced a silverpoint drawing (Dresden) in which he not only caught the physiognomy of the elderly cardinal and papal envoy, but already noted details concerning paint colours. The portrait shown here was produced soon after. Contrary to art history myth, oil painting, i.e. the use of oil resins as a bonding agent, was not invented by van Eyck. Yet he did transfer the delicate art of painting, which had already reached its highest point in book painting, to the larger format of panel painting, using new, highly refined techniques
Overall: 34 cm × 29,5 cm
Framed: 42,5 cm × 35,5 cm × 3,5 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie
until 1648 Coll. of the Antwerp art dealer Peeter Stevens; acquired by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in 1648
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