Portrait of a Man

Barthel Bruyn the Elder German

Not on view

The sitters wear costumes typical of the upper-class citizenry of Cologne, whose members were Bruyn's usual patrons. The woman's exposed hair, visible in braids at either side of her face, indicates that the couple are depicted as engaged, not married, as married women of Cologne wore their hair completely covered. It is likely that the portraits were commissioned to commemorate their engagement. In the context of this work, the carnation in the woman's hand is symbolic of love, betrothal, and marriage.

Portrait of a Man, Barthel Bruyn the Elder (German, 1493–1555), Oil on oak

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