“Portrait of Hieronymus Holzschuher” by Albrecht Durer
“Portrait of Hieronymus Holzschuher” by Albrecht Dürer depicts a local patrician who was a senator and member of the executive council in the city of Nuremberg. It was probably commissioned for an official celebration and exhibited at the city’s town hall. The cultural flowering of Nuremberg, in the 15th and 16th centuries, made it the center of the German Renaissance.
The German Renaissance developed from the Italian Renaissance and spread Renaissance humanism, which influenced the many advances made in the fields of architecture, the arts, and the sciences. Including the developments of printing and the Protestant Reformation that were to dominate the 16th century all over Europe.
Dürer was born in Nuremberg, and his vast body of work includes engravings, prints, altarpieces, portraits and watercolors, and academic books. Dürer established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties due to his high-quality woodcut prints. He founded communications with the many primary Italian artists of his time, and from 1512 he was patronized by emperor Maximilian I.
Dürer’s introduced classical motifs into Northern art. Also, through his association with Italian artists and German humanists, he became one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance. His reputation was enhanced by his theoretical treatises, which covered mathematics, perspective, and proportions. Both the Lutheran and Episcopal Churches also commemorate Dürer.
The first documentary mention of the city of Nuremberg was in 1050 as the location of an Imperial castle. The city expanded dramatically in importance due to its strategic place on crucial trade routes. During the late 12th century, the German emperors transferred the city administration and the municipal courts to the Imperial mayor of the city. This gradual transferral of ever-increasing powers to the city mayor finally broke out into open hostility with the military and the captains of a Nuremberg castle, which greatly influenced the independent traditions of the city.
Nuremberg was referred to as the ‘unofficial capital’ of the Holy Roman Empire, mainly because the Imperial Diet (Reichstag) and courts met at Nuremberg Castle. The Diets of Nuremberg were the deliberative body of the Holy Roman Empire, which was an essential part of the administrative structure of the empire. In 1219, Frederick II granted the ‘Great Letter of Freedom,’ which granted town rights, the privilege to mint coins, and an independent customs policy. Nuremberg soon became one of the great trade centers on the route from Italy to Northern Europe.
- Durer was one of the greatest printmakers of the German Renaissance. Is this skill evident in his painting?
- Is Durer the best painter of beards?
Portrait of Hieronymus Holzschuher
- Title: Portrait of Hieronymus Holzschuher
- Artist: Albrecht Dürer
- Year: 1526
- Type: Oil on canvas
- Dimensions: 51 × 37 cm (20 × 14.5 in)
- Museum: Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
- Artist: Albrecht Dürer
- Born: 1471 – Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire
- Died: 1528 (aged 56) – Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire
- Nationality: German
- Movement: High Renaissance
- Notable works:
A Tour of the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
- “Bathsheba” by Sebastiano Ricci
- “Santa Maria della Salute in Venedig vom Canal Grande” by Canaletto
- “Portrait of Jakob Muffel” by Albrecht Dürer
- “Portrait of Hieronymus Holzschuher” by Albrecht Dürer
- “Woman with a Pearl Necklace” by Johannes Vermeer
- “The Generosity of Scipio” by Jean II Restout
- “Seascape” by Arnoldus van Anthonissen
- “Christ on the Mount of Olives” by Matthias Stom
- “Netherlandish Proverbs” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
A Tour of Germany’s Museums
- The Pergamon Museum
- Neues Museum
- Altes Museum
- Alte Nationalgalerie – National Gallery (Berlin)
- Bode Museum
- Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
- Spy Museum Berlin
- Jewish Museum, Berlin
- Deutsches Historisches Museum – German Historical Museum
- DDR Museum
- German Resistance Memorial Center
- Art Galleries
- Greek and Roman Art
- Egyptian Art
- Kunsthalle Munich
- Deutsches Museum – German Museum of Masterpieces of Science and Technology
“What beauty is, I know not, though it adheres to many things.”
– Albrecht Dürer
Photo Credit: 1) Albrecht Dürer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons