With this monumental portrait, Albrecht Duerer created an ideal image of the great Emperor Charlemagne. As the inscription above the painting indicates, the image of the emperor created by the Nuremberg master was not copied but sprang entirely from his imagination. The panel, together with a portrait of Emperor Sigismund of the same size, served as doors to a cabinet that held the coronation vestments and imperial insignia in the night before the annual public ceremony on Nuremburg’s main market square. Flanking the relic, the paintings by Nuremberg’s most famous artist, Albrecht Duerer, served to reinforce the city’s claim to the imperial regalia.


  • Title: The Emperor Charlemagne
  • Creator: Albrecht Duerer
  • Date Created: 1511/13
  • Location: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, permanent exhibition "Renaissance, Baroque, Enlightenment"
  • Location Created: Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: H 215 cm x B 115 cm
  • Original Source: permanent loan of the City of Nuremberg
  • Rights: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg (Foto: GNM / Dirk Messberger)
  • Medium: Painting on lime wood
  • Art Movement: renaissance
  • Artist Dates: 1471 - 1528

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