Ideal portrait of Emperor Charlemagne (747/748-814)

Albrecht Dürer and Workshop1514

German Historical Museum

German Historical Museum
Berlin, Germany

From the workshop of Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) comes this portrait of Charlemagne (747 or 748-814). In the Middle Ages Karl was regarded as the one who brought Germans the Roman Emperorship. The ideal portrait shows him in the coronation robe with the imperial crown. The crown as a sign of worldly power is provided with a cross that shows Charles as the earthly ruler by the grace of God. In fact, the crown only came into existence 150 years after Charles's coronation. Today it is kept in the Vienna treasury.


  • Title: Ideal portrait of Emperor Charlemagne (747/748-814)
  • Creator: Albrecht Dürer, Workshop
  • Date Created: 1514
  • Location Created: Nuremberg
  • Physical Dimensions: 63,5 x 47 cm
  • Subject Keywords: Middle Ages
  • Transcript:
    Inscription: CAROLVS MA (GNUS): IMP (ERATOR). EL (ECTUS) ./ A (NN) °. 800: OB (IIT): A (nn) °. 814 (Charlemagne: elected Emperor in 800, died in 814)
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  • Rights: Deutsches Historisches Museum; Text: Brigitte Reineke
  • External Link: DHM collection database
  • Medium: Oil on wood
  • Inventory no.: Gm 2003/8

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