- Landgrave Cardinal Friedrich von Hessen-Darmstadt was born in 1616, son of the Lutheran, Ludwig, Landgrave of Hessen-Darmstadt and Magdalene von Brandenburg. Ludwig visited Malta in 1619, was received by Alof de Wignacourt, and given accommodation in the Grand Master's Palace. In gratitude he sent the Grand Master an enormous bronze cannon weighing 13,500 pounds manufactured by Mich. Jacob Rothenburger and bearing the name Der Helfant (The Elephant). Friedrich visited Malta in 1636 on his way to Rome and was similarly taken with the lifestyle of the Knights, so much so that he converted to Catholicism to gain admission. He moved swiftly through the ranks of the Order, helped by enormous pressure from the Papacy, who saw him as a means of publicity for Catholicism in Germany. He was admitted into the Order in 1637, and by 1639 Captain General of the Galleys. He was subsequently appointed Commander in Chief of the Spanish Fleet and Governor of Majorca; Grand Prior of Germany in 1647; was made Cardinal by Innocent X in 1652; Protector of the German Nation in the Eternal City (and also of Spain, Aragon and Sardinia); appointed Dean of the Cathedral Church of Breslau in 1668; Bishop of Breslau in 1671; and made Landeshauptmannschaft of Silesia in 1675.
- Portrait of the youthful looking Fredrick, Landgrave of Hesse (1616- 1682), who had distinguished himself among the German Knights of Malta. He wears an intricate gold lacework over a dark green velvet suit.
- Inscription: At the right bottom corner is an inscription that describes him as Federico della Santa/ Chiesa Romana Cardi-/ nale Langravio di/ Asia Capitano Gener-/ ale della Squadra/ di Malta L`anno 1644. On the edge of the map lying on the table there is also the name of the author of this painting: Genevoli Sabbinese.
- Repository/Location: National Museum of Fine Arts (Valletta, Malta)
- : 218 x 168 cm (without frame)
- Baroque [Create]
- 1644 [Create]
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