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Portrait of Cardinal Niccolò Albergati
Study for Cardinal Niccolò Albergati

The Portrait of Cardinal Niccolò Albergati is an oil-on-oak-panel painting by the Early Netherlandish painter Jan van Eyck, dating to the 1430s. It is of considerable interest to art historians because van Eyck's preliminary drawing survives. The work depicts Niccolò Albergati, an Italian cardinal and a diplomat working under Pope Martin V, as a visibly ageing cleric, his face seamed with deep lines below the eyes; it is accompanied by notes on the colours to be used in the final painting. A comparison between this drawing and the portrait shows that van Eyck changed several details, such as the depth of the shoulders, the lower curve of the nose, the depth of the mouth and the size of the ear. The finished painting hangs at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, while the drawing is in the collection of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

Artwork credit: Jan van Eyck

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