Erard de la Marck


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(b Sedan, 31 May 1472; d 1538). South Netherlandish ecclesiastic and patron. He studied at the University of Cologne and then at the Papal Curia. Between 1500 and 1505 he was a regular visitor at the court of Louis XII of France (1462–1515) and at the Vatican, where he enjoyed the favour of Pope Julius II. In 1505 he was elected Prince-Bishop of Liège, a position he held up to his death. He amassed a considerable fortune and was an important patron of the arts, instrumental in introducing Renaissance art to the Netherlands at an early date. He built (c. 1526) the Palais des Prince-Evêques (now law courts) in Liège that reflects his familiarity with the French Renaissance châteaux and through them of Italian Renaissance styles of building (see Netherlands, southern, fig. 1). The interiors were painted by Lambert Lombard, who was official painter to Marck from 1532. According to a custom of the period, Erard endowed a number of churches and monasteries within the principality with stained glass depicting his portrait and coat of arms. His ecclesiastical patronage was focused on Liège Cathedral, which he presented in 1512 with numerous precious liturgical objects including the famous reliquary bust of St Lambert. In 1527 he commissioned a monumental tomb for himself, to be placed in the choir of the cathedral; this was one of the first Netherlandish funerary monuments in the Renaissance style. Marck also had an important collection of tapestries. The discovery of his inventories has revealed the extent of this collection, comprising nearly 250 tapestries, including a large number made for the Habsburg court, which Marck acquired as a result of his political alliance with the Habsburgs.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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