- Home ›
- Portrait of a Cardinal and His Patron Saint ›
Portrait of a Cardinal and His Patron Saint
Legros depicts two bearded, half-length figures in a realistic manner. His somber subjects are positioned in front of a flat, forest green background and fill nearly the entire composition. Clad in a scarlet robe and the traditional zucchetto or skullcap, the man on the right is identified as a cardinal. His head is tilted to the left and his eyes gaze in a downwards direction. Beside the cardinal stands a man dressed in a dark brown robe and cowl typically worn by monks. Placed slightly in front of the cardinal, he dominates the composition, occupying around two-thirds of the space. His left hand holds aloft a small crimson prayer book, set off against the green background, while his right hand is crossed over his chest. Some writers have suggested that the figure on the right may be a self-portrait, and the figure in red may be a portrait of the artist’s father. The monk’s halo may be a later addition by another hand. The work is signed “A. Legros.” in the lower right.
written by Emma Lyandres, St. Andrews University, Scotland, 2022