Hans Mielich - Munich 1516- 1573 Munich (ARCHIVED)

Hans Mielich - Portrait of a Member of the Barvain Family.jpg
Hans Mielich - Portrait of a Member of the Barvain Family.jpg

Hans Mielich - Munich 1516- 1573 Munich (ARCHIVED)

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Portrait of a Member of the Bavarian Family of Fröschel, circa 1550

Oil on panel, 25¼ x 18¾  inches (64.2 x 47.7 cm)

Hans Mielich was the most important painter of the sixteenth century in Munich. Trained in his fathers’s studio, he went to Regensburg in 1536 and there came under the influence of Altdorfer. After a journey to Rome he became Master of the Munich Painters’ Guild in 1543 and received many commissions from the Bavarian Court. His friendship with Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria, a noted humanist and connoisseur, brought Mielich into contact with the mainstream of Renaissance culture and thus raised him above the narrow limitations of German art of the time.

The portrait represents a member of the Fröschel family, identified by the coat of arms on the back of the panel bearing the emblem of a frog (frosch in German). The picture is one of a pair of marriage portraits. The portrait of the sitter’s wife, in an English private collection, has the same pronounced pattern of wood graining on the reverse. Both pictures were formerly in Lord Northwick’s collection at Thirlestane House, which was dispersed in 1859. Mielich has portrayed the husband with quiet dignity characteristic of the courtly style of the mid-sixteenth century. At the same time he has displayed his exceptional skill in depicting, within a narrow tonal range of blacks, the patterns and complex forms of the sitter’s sober yet luxurious dress – a virtuosity comparable with that of Hans Holbein the Younger or Bronzino. 

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