Jakob Muffel

Albrecht Dürer1526

Renaissance and Reformation. German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach

Renaissance and Reformation. German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach

The Nuremberg patrician Jakob Muffel belonged to the urban elite and held the office of mayor in 1502 and 1514. He was a friend of his exact contemporary Dürer, from whom he must have ordered this portrait shortly before dying in the spring of 1526. It is one of Dürer’s last portraits and shows his monumental late style. Starting out from a portrait drawing that has not survived, the painter powerfully modeled the plasticity of the head and the prominent relief of the facial features. At the same time, Dürer traced the most delicate details of the physiognomy and brilliantly brought out the qualities of the various surfaces, such as the sparkling eyes, the soft, dense fur, and the starched shirt.

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  • Title: Jakob Muffel
  • Creator: Albrecht Dürer
  • Date Created: 1526
  • Physical Dimensions: 48 × 36 cm
  • Technique and Material: Panel, transferred to canvas
  • Provenance: In the Schönborn Collection, Pommersfelden, in 1867; acquired in Paris in 1883
  • Museum: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie
  • Inv.-No.: 557 D
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-017018
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/gemaeldegalerie/home.html
  • Copyright: Photo © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie / Jörg P. Anders; Text © Renaissance and Reformation: German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach, A Cooperation of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen München, Catalogue of the Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Nov 20, 2016 – March 26, 2017, Munich: Prestel, 2016; cat. no. 99 / Stephan Kemperdick
  • Catalogue: https://prestelpublishing.randomhouse.de/book/Renaissance-and-Reformation/Stephanie-Buck/Prestel-com/e504919.rhd
  • Artist Dates: 1471 Nuremberg–1528 Nuremberg
  • Artist Biography: Dürer, who initially trained in his father’s goldsmith workshop, apprenticed to the painter Michael Wolgemut from 1486. His travels as a journeyman from 1490 to 1495 took him to the Upper Rhine and northern Italy, to which he returned a second time in 1505–7 (his stay in Venice). In 1520 he traveled to the Netherlands. Dürer’s prints, his most important source of income, made him famous throughout Europe, and the monogram AD became a seal of quality. His abundant production of paintings included altarpieces, portraits (especially of the patricians of Nuremberg), and self-portraits, among other works. Emperor Maximilian I entrusted important commissions to Dürer’s workshop, where Hans Baldung, the Beham brothers, and Hans Schäufelein were working. Dürer, who was in constant contact with important humanists, also wrote on issues of art theory, especially the theory of proportion. He was regarded as an Homo universalis (Renaissance man) already during his lifetime.


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