Religion: How to Paint a Prelate

Painting a prelate's portrait is not quite like painting an ordinary man, wrote Dutch Art Critic Jan Engelman in his Amsterdam newspaper last week. It needs a special approach. Before even meeting his prelate, said Engelman, the painter should study him carefully—family background, personality, ecclesiastical career. Only then should he try to picture a man who is at once "a high-placed person, a compassionately spiritual father, a sturdy ruler, an immovably insular person, a religious power, a lonely man."

The greatest prelate-painter of all, Engelman thinks, was Velasquez. His best example of prelate-work: portrait of Pope Innocent X.


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