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Hans Baldung Grien, Portrait of a Man

Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Man
Artist Hans Baldung Grien
Artist dates 1484/5 - 1545
Date made 1514
Medium and support Oil on lime
Dimensions 59.3 × 48.9 cm
Inscription summary Dated
Acquisition credit Bought, 1854
Inventory number NG245
Location Room 25
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of a Man
Hans Baldung Grien

Although we do not know his name, we can tell a lot about Baldung Grien’s mature sitter from the details of his costume. The large fur collar of his coat, the jewel on his cap and the two gold chains around his neck show off his wealth. The longer chain bears two badges: the Virgin and Child within a crescent moon and surrounded by rays, and a bird of prey and a fish facing each other.

The first badge is the emblem of the Order of Our Lady of the Swan, a religious group that only admitted members of the nobility. The second is the insignia of the elite Society to the Falcon and Fish, a group that organised jousting tournaments for the noblemen based in the southern German region of Swabia.

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