Portrait of Albrecht Dürer
Unknown German Artist
2.5 in. (6.35 cm)
Medium and Support:
Engraving on paper
Lent by William and Nancy Bartley
This work is not currently on view
The German painter, draughtsman, and printmaker Albrecht Dürer enjoyed extraordinary fame during his own lifetime. In addition to several self-portraits, he was the subject of numerous portraits by other artists. One of the earliest of these was a medal designed in 1520 by fellow Nuremberg native Hans Schwarz, which enjoyed great popularity and was reissued upon Dürer’s death in 1528. Danish engraver Melchior Lorch designed a print version of Dürer’s portrait around 1550, drawing perhaps on Schwarz’ medal as well as the artist’s own self-images. This engraving was likely designed after one of these earlier objects. In it, Dürer faces to the right, his characteristically long, curling hair flowing down over his shoulders. Bearded, he wears a fur-trimmed robe over a high-collared shirt, and looks firmly into the distance. Around him, a Latin inscription announces his primacy among artists: ALBERTUS DURERUS NORICUS INTER PICTORES OMNIUM AETATUM FACILE PRINCEPS (Albrecht Dürer of Nuremberg, easily the greatest among the painters of every age).