Portrait of the Maltese Knight Bernard de Witte

Karel Škréta

Karel Škréta - Portrait of the Maltese Knight Bernard de Witte
The portrayed person is Bernard de Witte, prior of the convent of the Knights of Malta at the Lesser Town church of Our Lady under the Chain in Prague. A secondarily enlarged replica of this painting exists in Dresden (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Gemäldegalerie), dated 1651.In contrast to Dresden version, a more elegant Prague portrait is distinguished by a greater monumentality and sense of dignity. Judging by the form of the partially preserved coat-of-arms depicted in the upper left corner, the work can be dated into the period after May 22, 1650, when Bernard de Witte was installed as the prior, with a right to wear a mitre. Witte met Škréta during the period of renovation and re-furnishing of the monastic church – shortly after 1651 the artist delivered a painting commissioned by the prior for the high altar and in 1674 the altarpiece with the Beheading of St Barbara for the south aisle.
measurements: height 100 cm
width 75 cm
material: canvas
technique: oil
inventory number: O 2652
gallery collection: Collection of Old Masters

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