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Gerhard von Westerburg (1486–after 1539), Half-Length, in a Fur-Trimmed Mantle and Black Hat

Photo credit: Compton Verney

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Barthel or Bartholomäus Bruyn was the leading portrait painter in the Electorate of Cologne during the Early Reformation and founded a lasting school of portraiture. This is one of Bruyn’s most important pictures, but the sitter has only been correctly identified in recent years. The key to his identity is provided by the signet ring displayed prominently on his right forefinger, which bears the crest of the Westerburg family of Cologne. Gerhard von Westerburg was a leading Cologne lawyer and a keen supporter of the Reformation. He appears to have commissioned this portrait to commemorate his marriage of 1523 to Gertraude von Leutz. A portrait of his wife by Bruyn survives in the Kröller-Müller Museum, in Otterloo.

Compton Verney

Compton Verney




oil on panel


H 62.3 x W 52.4 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 2008

Work type


Normally on display at

Compton Verney

Compton Verney, Warwickshire CV35 9HZ England

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