Hans Hoffmann, Dead blue Roller, bodycolour on vellum


British Museum

British Museum

This is one of four recorded copies by Hoffman (about 1530-91/2) of Dürer's Dead Blue Roller of 1521 (Albertina, Vienna). It relates closely to a genre of watercolour and bodycolour bird and animal studies, often on vellum, that Dürer popularized.

One of the copies is signed by Hoffmann and dated 1583, when Dürer's original was still in Nuremberg in the Imhoff collection, and it is therefore likely that Hoffmann was commissioned by Willibald Imhoff's son Karl to produce the copy, perhaps as a reminder of a favourite drawing. Hoffmann then used his copy to produce further versions of the famous sheet.

All four copies are very close but show the same small differences from the original: a more evident thigh on the bird's right leg, a slightly more curved line of the left wing and a wider space between the third and fourth talons.

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  • Title: Hans Hoffmann, Dead blue Roller, bodycolour on vellum
  • Date Created: 1583/1584
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 281.00mm; Width: 179.00mm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: drawn
  • Subject: bird
  • Registration number: Gg,2.220
  • Producer: Drawn by Hoffmann, Hans. After D
  • Material: vellum
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Bequeathed by Cracherode, Clayton Mordaunt. Previous owner/ex-collection Imhoff Family