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This is one of Dürer's most impressive portrait drawings; the triangle identifies the sitter as an architect. The drawing is a preliminary work for the Feast of the Rosary altarpiece (Prague), which the German merchants and the Fugger family commissioned from Dürer in Venice, when he arrived in the city at the end of 1505. Dürer adopted his drawing technique – grey brushwork with white highlights on blue Venetian paper – from the Venetians and used it in many of his drawings from this period. The contrasts are milder than on white paper; nonetheless, all of the important passages are clearly emphasized: the intelligent and contemplative face, the locks of hair with their masterly play of value contrasts, the generous drapery with its ingeniously shifting light effects. The architect, who has never been positively identified, is portrayed at the right edge of the painting. However, it seems clear that he is the one who rebuilt the Fondaco dei Tedeschi that had burned down in the winter of 1504/05. It is known that the Senate of Venice selected the model of a ‘Hieronymous Tedesco’ for the new building; on this basis, it has been argued that the portrait is of Hieronymus von Augsburg. However, no one has ever been able to provide further documentation of this artist, who was held in high regard by the Venetians.

Details

  • Title: The Architect Hieronymus von Augsburg
  • Creator: Albrecht Dürer
  • Date: 1506
  • Physical Dimensions: w26.6 x h39.1 cm
  • Type: Paper
  • Medium: Brush and black ink with white highlights, on blue Venetian paper
  • Inv.-No.: KdZ 2274
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018511
  • External Link: Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyright: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Jörg P. Anders │ Text © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Hans Mielke
  • Collection: Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Artist Place of Death: Nuremberg, Germany
  • Artist Place of Birth: Nuremberg, Germany
  • Artist Gender: Male
  • Artist Dates: 1471.05.21 - 1528.04.06

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