Jan Polack By alex luders

Jan Polack's life

Jan Polack was born in 1450, where he was born was unknown, but it is is possible that he is of Polish descent. Although it is thought he grew up and received his training around Poland, he spent most of his life in Munich, Germany, where he was one of the most successful at their art school. He was the cities official artist, his greatest patron. Polack also owned a very large workshop in Munich, which influenced a lot of art. He made a lot of portraits, such as Portrait of a Benedictine Abbot. Jan also did lots of work in the churches. Art like frescoes in Saint Wolfgang's or his altarpieces. He made many altarpieces in places such as 3 in the Blutenberg Chapel and for the high altar of the Benedictine Abbey.

Portrait of a Benedictine Abbot, 1484

This portrait can be found at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, Spain. There is significance of this portrait in the monk's depiction. Their is controversy over whether this is just a depiction of a monk, or if it is actually a portrait of a real monk, based on the detailed facial details. Unlike most portraits, this background was odd. It is plain, nothing behind the monk, and an unusual color. To me, this portrait interests me because of an almost hidden importance. The plain background makes me focus on just the individual, like this person is important and their is more meaning such as the snake and chalice this man is holding. It is mysterious and makes me want to know a little more about these monks. The use of the plain background to focus on the individual is a popular renaissance style; secularism. It is makes the man look important, he is the only thing in the painting, it is dedicated to him.


Jan Polack Portrait. Digital image. Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2016. <https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/M%C3%BCnchen_Lenbachhaus_20130628_(13).JPG/220px-M%C3%BCnchen_Lenbachhaus_20130628_(13).JPG>.

Barobia, Mar. "Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza." Museo Thyssen Bornemisza. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2016. <http://www.museothyssen.org/en/thyssen/ficha_obra/149>.

Polack, Jan. Portrait of a Benedictine Abbot. Digital image. Museothyssen. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2016. <http://assets.museothyssen.org/img/colecciones/obras_maestras/mediana/1934.17.jpg>.

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