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Portraits of Medieval Popes

Images depicting popes from the Middle Ages

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Popes have never been a particularly popular subject for art, but for one reason or another, virtually every pontiff has been represented in portraiture. Few popes in the early and high Middle Ages had their portraits painted while they were still alive; nevertheless, later artists managed to depict them as they thought they may have looked. How closely the results resembled the actual person is anyone's guess. Many later medieval popes, especially those whose pontificates coincided with the Italian Renaissance, were depicted by fine artists who actually met them, so their pictures are more likely to look like them (though they may not have included all their physical flaws).

The portraits are presented in chronological order of the subject's pontificate. Though I cannot hope to include all of the approximately 180 medieval popes any time soon, you can browse them in order and get a sense of the progression of events in Church history. For a simple chronological listing of medieval pontiffs, visit the Chronological List of Medieval Popes.

Images 1-9 of 9
Image from unknown sourcePope St. SimpliciusDepiction from an unknown source.Pope Felix IIIPortrait adapted by your Guide from an unknown sourcePope Gelasius IImage adapted by your Guide from an unknown sourcePope Anastasius II
Image from The Lives and Times of the Popes by Artaud de Montor.Pope SymmachusImage adapted by your Guide from an unknown sourcePope HormisdasImage of Pope Saint John I taken from The Lives and Times of the Popes by Artaud de Montor.Pope John IImage of Pope Felix IV taken from The Lives and Times of the Popes by Artaud de Montor.Pope Felix IV
Image of Pope Boniface II taken from The Lives and Times of the Popes by Artaud de MontorPope Boniface II
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