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The Illusion of the American Frontier

From 03 November 2015 to 07 February 2016

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Edward S. Curtis
An Oasis in the Badlands (detail), 1905
Photography, gelatin silver. 15.2 x 20.2 cm
Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.
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Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Anonymous Austrian Artist active at the Court of Tyrol
Portrait of Kunigunde of Austria
ca. 1485
Oil on panel
45.5 x 32 cm
Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, on deposit with the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
Numero de inventario
INV. Nr. 8 (1964.15)

The artist who painted this unusual portrait remains anonymous. Alfred Stange and Isolde Lübbeke suggested various names including the Master of the Schottenaltar and the Habsburg court painter Niclas Reiser of Schwaz, but it was finally decided to catalogue the panel with the present description. In contrast, the sitter’s identity is known: she is Kunigunde of Austria, daughter of Frederick III, sister of Maximilian I, and wife of the 4th Duke of Bavaria. Kunigunde is depicted half-length wearing a low-cut dress and adorned with various striking elements such as her headdress, of a type fashionable in the last quarter of the 15th century, and the chain from which hangs a splendid cross. Such details confirm the suggestion that the painting was a nuptial portrait or was intended for presentation to possible suitors. It is notably similar to a late 16th-century miniature in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.


© 2009 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Paseo del Prado 8, 28014 Madrid, España

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