The Pálffy collection of panel portraits of viri illustri from the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
Source document: Opuscula historiae artium. 2012, vol. 61 , iss. 2, pp. 120-133
ISSN1211-7390 (print)2336-4467 (online)
License: Not specified license
The study presents the collection of nine portraits of "famous men", preserved in the collection of Červený Kameň Museum, which has so far not been published. Recent research has revealed many unsuspected facts, as a result of which it has been possible not only to identify the portraitees and to determine who commissioned most of the portraits and the approximate date they were painted, but also to establish the specific historical and political circumstances to which the paintings reacted in very topical ways. The collection of paintings, arranged in a grid system in wall panelling or a coffered ceiling, was originally without doubt considerable larger. It was commissioned by Baron Miklós II Pálffy, a Hungarian and Lower Austrian aristocrat from the era of the Emperors Maximilian II and Rudolf II, who wanted to visually demonstrate his high-level international contacts by having these portraits in his dynastic residence in Červený Kameň castle. From an art-historical viewpoint, however, the collection is also a significant example reflecting trends in official portraits in the Habsburg courts in Hungary and in the Central European area in general: it clearly confirms Pálffy's connections with the court milieus in Prague, Vienna, and Innsbruck, and also with the Lower Austrian aristocratic scene.