The visual legacy of early modern cardinals constitutes a vast and extremely rich body of artworks, many of superb quality, in a variety of media, often by well-known artists and skilled craftsmen. Yet cardinal portraits have primarily been analysed within biographical studies of the represented individual, in relation to the artists who created them, or within the broader genre of portraiture. No more profound investigation of these as a specific category of object has ever been attempted. This volume addresses questions surrounding the production, collection, and status of the cardinal portrait, covering diverse geographies and varied media. Examining the development of cardinals'imagery in terms of their multi-layered identities, this volume considers portraits of'princes of the Church'as a specific cultural phenomenon reflecting cardinals'unique social and political position.