A Gallery of Italian Portraits: Cardinals from 1510-1546

Most of these images can be found at Artcyclopedia or Web Gallery of Art.

Early Century: 1510-1520

Raffaello Sanzio, 1510-11: Portrait of a Cardinal

Museo del Prado, Madrid

 

A classic cardinal with excellent detail on the mozzetta and buttons. I like this design: three buttons on top, with pairs running down the front. Looks like watered silk, or moiree. Also note that no shirt is visible beneath the mozetta. The early Italian shirts were generally worn much lower on the neckline.

Sebastiano del Piombo, 1516: Cardinal Bandinello Sauli, His Secretary, and Two Geographers

Samuel H. Kress Collection

 

The arms of the rochetta fall in horizontal folds. This is particularly common in the earlier portraits. Pleating or pressing is my guess. The biretta, which developed from a three-cornered lay person's hat, has this rounded shape in these early portraits. Rings on first and third fingers.

Raffaello Sanzio, 1516: Portrait of Cardinal Bibbiena

Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

This is a very luxurious mozzetta: longer and fuller than the others. I was fortunate enough to have seen this painting in person. From what I could tell, the horizontal seam line is actually a decorative pleat. Again, the rochetta arms fall in horizontal folds. A great collection of rings worn on the first, third and pinky fingers.

Raphael, 1515-16: Cardinal Tommaso Inghirami

Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence, Italy

Not a typical Cardinal portrait, but good for comparison to the more formal costumes. He has on at least two layers, as evidenced by the black cuffs under the red gown. He wears a very rounded biretta, and a thumb ring. And at last, we have a view of the girdle. This was another item in the cardinal's wardrobe which functioned as a belt: it gathered in the cassock's excess fabric and/or train.

Titian and workshop, 1520: Girolamo and Cardinal Marco Corner Investing Marco, Abbot of Carrara, with His Benefice

National gallery of Art, Washington DC

The rare side and back view. Nice image of the pointed, tiny hood. Notice no horizontal seam lines on the back of the mozzetta. It also seems to be pieced as there are small diagonal seams across the arm. There's a slit or side opening, on the rochetta. Here are details of this one.

Mid Century: 1540-1547

Titian, 1540: Cardinal Pietro Bembo

Samuel H. Kress Collection

 

Titian did several portraits of his friend Bembo. This one was the inspiration for Aaron's Cardinal costume. Interestingly, I found more paintings of Bembo than any other cardinal from the era. Here are detail images of this painting, and the next several are portraits of him as well.

In the mid-16th century, the corners of the hat are more pronounced. The hat itself seems to have more structure (probably a stiffer base). The rochetta arms, in this case, are not pleated, but gather into cuffs. What I believe can be seen at the neckline is the collar of the shirt.

Titian, 1545-46: Portrait of an Old Man (Pietro Cardinal Bembo)

Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Nice view of the tiny red hood. The white collar is probably the shirt or the rochetta. No hat is worn for this portrait, which is rare.

Titan, 1545: Portrait of Cardinal Pietro Bembo

Napoli, Gallerie Nazionali di Capodimonte

The fabric of this Cardinal costume is more elaborate than any I've seen, even from later eras. It's lighter, pink or rose colored, and has a whirly pattern or texture. He wears a ring on the third finger.

Giulio di Antonio Bonasone, between 1531 and 1574: Pietro Bembo

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California

Another great illustration of the tiny hood. No hat. And what an impressive beard.

Titian, 1545: Portrait of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese

Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples

The mozzetta's horizontal seam (or pleat) is located higher on the chest than usual. It almost looks like the hood's point is in the opposite spot - near the forehead as opposed to at the back. It's hard to be sure, but I believe he's holding a pair of gloves. This was a common accessory for members of the church, as well as lay folk. He has a very dark band on his collar, perhaps embroidered? This may not be the correct orientation for this painting. I've also found it flipped, so he faces to the right.

Sebastiano del Piombo, between 1485-1547: Portrait of Antonio Cardinal Pallavicini

Public Collection (?), ARC

During this era, the linen rochetta falls quite far past the knees, probably to mid-calf. His hood is lined with a much lighter fabric, a nice contrast. He wears a large ring on the first finger.

Sebastiano del Piombo, 1545-46: Portrait of Cardinal Reginald Pole

Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia

An English cardinal. This rochetta is extremely full: the fabric is barely contained by the chair. The garment is very finely pleated, as are the arms. Good view of the layers at the wrist: there is a small ruffle on the bottom layer, presumably on the shirt's cuff, then the cassock's cuff, then the rochetta. Large red rings on the first fingers.

 

Raphael, 1504: Portrait of Pietro Bembo

Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Painted when Bembo was 34, this depicts him as a young man. I just put this in here for fun. It would still be 35 years before he is made cardinal, but look at that red hat and gown! I am reminded of several references I found, that the garments worn by members of the church were simply adaptations of the everyday wear from the time.

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