Blazon of Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg

Object Details


Blazon of Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg


Simon Bening (Flemish, about 1483 - 1561)




Bruges, Belgium (Place created)


about 1525 - 1530


Tempera colors, gold paint, and gold leaf on parchment


Leaf: 16.8 x 11.4 cm (6 5/8 x 4 1/2 in.)

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This coat of arms represents the different aspects of Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg, not only a powerful political and ecclesiastical figure but also one of the most discerning patrons of Flemish art of the 1500s. A red cardinal's hat, whose ropes loop around into knots with a calligraphic flourish, sits atop a crucifix. The cross, crozier, and sword refer to the cardinal's sacred and secular duties, including his roles as elector and archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg. The heraldic symbols on the shield, mostly variants on griffins, refer to Albrecht's noble lineage. The image's rich, sensual quality emphasizes the patron's delight in the senses.