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Copies of Albrecht Dürer's "Four Apostles"

Johannes or Georg Vischer1627/1627

Nuremberg Municipal Museums

Nuremberg Municipal Museums

Oil on wood. In 1526, Albrecht Dürer gifted the Nuremberg City Council with two panel paintings of the apostles John, Peter, Paul and Mark. Today these count among the most important works of European painting. Together with four more pairs of paintings, they temporarily made the Nuremberg City Hall a regular Dürer Museum, which for some 30 years housed a total of ten very fine originals from the great master. But the sad tale of the city's lost Dürer holdings began as early as 1587, when Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II claimed the "Adam and Eve" pair for his Prague collection. Forty years later, in 1627, Elector Maximilian I of (Catholic) Bavaria took advantage of the Thirty Years' War to demand that (Protestant) Nuremberg relinquish the "Four Apostles." Though the City Council attempted to offer high-quality copies made by Johannes or Georg Vischer in 1627, the tactic failed. Ever since, Dürer's four saints have been one of the highlights of the collection in the Bavarian capital of Munich.

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  • Title: Copies of Albrecht Dürer's "Four Apostles"
  • Creator: Johannes or Georg Vischer
  • Date: 1627/1627
  • Provenance: Albrecht-Dürer-Haus
  • Type: Painting

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