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The following volumeSy each illustrated with from 14 to 20 Engravings, 

are now ready ^ price 3J. 6d, : — 

ITALIAN, dr'f. 

GIOTTO. By Harry Quilter, M.A., Trinity Coll., Cambridge. 
FRA ANGELICO. By Catherine Mary Phillimore. 
FRA BARTOLOMMEO. By Leader Scott. 
MANTEGNA and FRAN CIA. By Julia Cartwright. 
LEONARDO DA VINCL By Dr. J. Paul Richter. 
MICHELANGELO. By Charles Clement. 
RAPHAEL. From J. D. Passavant. By N. D' An vers. 
TITIAN. By Richard Ford Heath, M.A. Oxford. 
TINTORETTO. By W. Roscoe Osler. From researches at Venice. 
VELAZQUEZ. By Edwin Stowe, B.A. Oxford. 

HOLBEIN. From Dr. A. Woltmann. By Joseph Cundall. 
REMBRANDT. From Charles Vosmaer. By J. W. Mollett, B.A. 
RUBENS. By C. W. Kett, M.A. Oxford. 

VAN DYCK and HALS. By Percy R. Head, Lincoln Coll., Oxford. 
FIGURE PAINTERS of HOLLAND. By Lord Ronald Gower, F.S.A 


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TURNER. By W. Cosmo Monkhouse. 

WILKIE. By J. W. Mollett, B.A., Brasenose College, Oxford. 

LANDSEER. By Frederic G. Stephens. 

The following volumes are in preparation : — 

VAN EYCK and MEMLING. By Mrs. Charles Heaton. 
CORNELIUS and OVERBECK. By J. Beavington Atkinson. 
CORREGGIO and PAOLO VERONESE. By M. Compton Heaton. 

■:'. NOv Ic8i 




From the Paii^tini: bv Himsfif 

in the Pmnkiilhek, Munieh. 

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aMI ' ^•> 

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210 . cy . aso . ^-^ 

" The whole world withoul Art woulii be one great wilderness." 




. tit* V81 •! 







2.%o . ^-^ 

Thk DCrer Coat of Arms. 

Erratum. — Under Woodcut opposite p. 5i—for "Biograi)liical " read 

** Bibliographical." 

{All rights reserved.) 


THE work of Albrecht Dtirer stands alone at least in one 
particular, — that, while it has challenged the admiration, it 
has baffled the curiosity, of centuries, and still excites speculation. 
In mysterious conception we look for the special characteristic of 
his art ; and as to execution, the hand of man could do no more. 
One to whom the world listens — the great Goethe — has said : ' I 
honour daily more and more the work of a man which cannot 
be valued in gold and silver ; of one who, when we know him 
thoroughly, has only the first Italians as his compeers in truth, 
sublimity, and even grace ; but we will not say this aloud.' Even 
if this sentiment be not universally received, yet no one will 
deny to Diirer the merit of the new revelation which he gave 
to the world. 

It is unnecessary to recapitulate in a Preface the reflections which 
occur in this brief record of ' one of the simple great ones, gone for 
ever and ever by.' 

The matter of the following pages has been chiefly obtained from 
a careful comparison of Mrs. Charles Heaton's second edition of her 
invaluable and interesting Life of Albrecht Diirer with Professor 
Thausing's elaborate and exhaustive work, Diirer, Geachichte seines 
Lehens und seiner Kunst, I have exercised my own judgment on 
matters where their conclusions differ, without entering at large 
into any of the numerous discussions, for which no doubt there is 
ample scope. I have not found any infonnation elsewhere which 
was not to be obtained in these two biographies. The author of 
each has sketched the grand figure of Albrecht Diirer with a loving 
and reverent hand, and exhibited a spirit capable of receiving the 
greatness of the truth which he taught by his work and in his life. 

R. F. H. 


Juljfy 1881. 




Art in the Middle Ages in Germany — Niimberg, its Trade and 
Government — Architecture and Sculpture — Albrecht Diirer the 
Elder arrives in Niirnherg — His Marriage — Family — Birth of 
Albrecht — Character of the elder Diirer — His Portraits — Death 
— Albrecht takes charge of his Mother — Her Character, Death, 
and Portrait 1 


Albrecht's Brothers — School Days — In his Father's Workshop — Early 
Drawings — Apprenticeship to Wolgemut — Portrait from Mirror 
— Madonna — Michel "Wolgemut — ^Art Factory — Wood Engraving 
— The Monogram W — Copper Engraving — Portrait — Deaths 
DUrer*8 Wanderschaft — Visit to Venice in 1494 — Sketches — 
Landscajte-Painting 9 


Diirer's Portrait, 1493 — Return to Niimberg — Marriage — Frey 
Family — Portraits of his Wife — Fables about Unhappinees and 
Poverty — The Tscherte Letter — Durer's Workshop — Dresden 
Altar-piece — S. Vitus Altar-piece — Bangartner Altar-piece — 
Imhof Collection — Monogram — Hercules Fighting with the 
Stymphalian Birds 16 


Struggles for Relimous Freedom in Germany — Papst-Esel — Diirer's 
Apocalypse — ^Wood Engraving — Conrad Celtes — Jacopo de' 
Barbari-— S. Eustachius . 24 


Portrait Studies — The Great Passion — Drawings of the Passion on 
green paper— Life of the Virgin — Visit to Venice — Marc 
Antonio — Feast of Rose-Garlands — Giovanni Bellini — Titian — 
Diirer at Bologna — Return to Niimberg 32 




Adam and Eve — Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand — Jakob Heller — 
All Saints Picture — Madonna with the Cut Pear — Diirer's Ideal 
Madonna — Miiller — Plastic and other "Works — Dead Roller — 
Diptych for a Private Altar 39 


Copper Engraving — The Copper Passion — Etching upon Iron — 
Degenknopf — Diirer publishes his Books — Raphael's Letter — 
Munich Portrait of Diirer — Monogram — Camerarius .... 48 


Maximilian — The Triumphal Arch — Stabius — Maximilian's Prayer- 

Book—The Triumphal Car— The Rathhaus Walls 54 


The Netherlands Journey — Antwerp — Quentin Matsys — Kratzer — 
Erasmus — Brussels — Roger van der Weyden — Archduchess Mar- 
garet — Presents— Coin — Zealand — Narrow Escape of Ship- 
wreck — Bruges — Ghent — Jan van Eyck — Madrid Portrait . . 62 


Diirer's Position in Niimberg — Reformation — Pirkheimer — Spengler 
— Four Temperaments — Melencolia — S. Jerome — Knight, Death 
and the Devil— Spalatin — Diirer's Religions Belief — Melanchthon 
— Erasmus — Four Apostles 73 


Diirer's Illness and Death — Tomb — Testimony to him from Luther 
and others — His Literary Productions — Instruction in Mensura- 
tion — Fortification — Art of Fencing — Human Proportion — Food 
for Young Painters — Quotations from his Writings — Reflections 86 

List of Principal Works — 

I. Paintings 102 

II. Engravings 106 

III. Woodcuts 108 


Chronology 112 

Index 113 



Portrait op Albrecht Durer. Painting . . . Frontispiece. 

The Nativity. Engraving on Copper 23 

Samson Kiluxg the Lion. Woodcut 27 

The Conversion of St. Eustace. Engraving on Cupper ... 31 

Christ Bearing the Cross. Woodmt 33 

Christ Taking Leave of His Mother. Woodcut 35 

The Descent into Hell. Woodcut 39 

The Trinity. Fainting 43 

The Virgin on the Crescent Moon. Woodcut 47 

The Great "White Horse. Engraving on Copper 61 

Albrecht Durer's House in Nurnberg .54 

Portrait of the Emperor Maximilian. Drawinj 59 

Christ Mocked. Woodmt 61 

The Beheading of St. John the Baptist. Woodcut .... 70 

The Knight, Death and the Devil. Engraving on Copper * . . 77 


St. John and St. Peter— St. Paul and St. Mark. Painting . 84 

The Knight and the Lady. Engraving on Copper 91 

Christ Driving out the Money-Ch angers. Woodcut . . . . 97 

Virgin and Child. Engraving on Copper 101 

* Reproduced by A. and W. Dawson. 









THE Germany of the Middle Ages would seem to have been 
no home for Art Where nature was so unpropitions, 
and society ho barbarous, the marvel is that it found a life at aU. 
Yet without the advantages which existed south of the Alps, 
without ancestry, without traditions, without nurture — it sprung 
up hardy and stroi^, though having an individuality which 
was not attractive, responsible alike foi its own merits and 
defects. Nor were the political conditions of the country 
favourable to its growth. Nation there was none. The strong- 
holds of the petty princes, who divided the country and preyed 
upon each other in utter contempt of law and right, wore no 
nurseries of Art. The free imperial cities of Niirnbei^ and 
Augsbui^ were almost the only homes of liberty ; and it is no 


wonder, therefore, that they produced the only two men who 
ever rose to the highest position as artists — Diirer and Holbein. 

With the former city and her renowned son it is that we 
have to do, the Kiirnberg whose " hand is in every land " ; 
whose workmen in the fifteenth century had the souls of artists 
and hands which obeyed their feelings ; whose work went to the 
ends of the world. The quaint old city, with its narrow streets, 
its gabled roofs, its massive fortifications and noble churches, 
stands much as it did in those days, though the foot of the 
destroyer is hard upon it now, and the light of the Middle Ages, 
which has been kept burning there so long, as over a sacred 
shrine, is dyiYig out. Once the centre of manufactures, which 
were an expression of thoughtful and lofty minds, her import- 
ance and prosperity are now things of the past. 

At the beginning of the thirteenth century she obtained from 
the Emperor Frederick special rights and privileges, " in con- 
sideration," as he says in his great charter, " that she has no 
vineyards or navigation, and lies upon very ungenial soil." 

Great mechanical activity and improvement in all kinds of 
machinery was exhibited in Kiirnberg early in the fifteenth 
century. She could boast of the first German paper-mill, and 
of Antonius Koburger's celebrated printing-press. In every 
branch of industry there were men of skill and renown — watch 
and clock-makers, braziers, organ-makers ; but the most celebrated 
throughout Europe were the workers in gold who abounded in 
the city. Their designs were in themselves works of art, and 
they engraved them only on the true metal, the laws of their 
guild forbidding the employment of anything spurious. The 
rich burghers were proud of exhibiting their wealth in the 
jewels with which they decked their wives and daughters, and 
most of their household utensils were of gold and silver. It 
was said of Kiirnberg, that she had the reputation of governing 
herself better than any other town in Germany, on which, 
account she was called by many the Venice of Germany. At 

nCrnberg in the fifteenth century. o 

the head of the Eepublic were three elected chiefs, who had 
similar authority to that of the Venetian doges. They were 
members of patrician families; but as the Eath numbered 
among its forty-two members some of the principal burghers 
and eight artisans, representatives of the principal guilds in the 
city, the prevailing aristocratic element was modified. The 
Eath watched over the interests and welfare of its children, and 
everything was done to sustain the reality of the wealth and 
intelligence of the people which made Nurnberg what she was. 
Her merchants were nobles, who extended their commercial 
influence to every country, and were the centre of the life at 
home. The great house of Pirkheimer, of one member of which 
we shall hear much, was the soul not only of the great city 
interests, but also of its culture. The spirit of progress whicli 
characterized the fifteenth century found in such a city a 
congenial atmosphere. Then arose the longing for the beautiful. 
The individual character of the Teutonic mind had revealed 
itself in Gothic architecture, which was the mother of sculpture 
and the kindred arts. In Nurnberg was the church of S. 
Lawrence, rich in decoration, and famed for Adam Krafft's 
SacramenU'Hdusldn, There were the statues above the porch 
of the Frauenkirche, the celebrated Brautthiir of S. Sebald*s ; 
and the Sclione Brunnen, erected by Meister Heinrich der Balier 
in 1385 — 96, with its twenty-four statues by another artist, rising 
gracefully in the market-place.^ There was, moreover, the Shrine 
of S. Sebald, the master-piece of Peter Vischer, the great worker 
in bronze, picturing the miracles of the saint, abounding in 
forms of every description from the realms of nature or of fancy, 
but specially famed for the figures of the Apostles. 

^ The statues above the porch of the Frauenkirche, the * Bride's Door ' 
of S. Sebald and the figures of Electors and Heroes on the Sehone Brun- 
neriy have all, until recently, been ascribed to one Sebald Schonhofer. 
Modem research has, however, thrown gi-eat doubts on their authorship, 
and even on the very existence of Schonhofer. 

B 2 


Furthermore, Veit Stoss enriched his native city with his 
wonderful wood-carvings, which abound both in the churches 
and in private houses. The Great Crucifix in S. Sebald's, and 
the Sahdation of the Angel in S. Lawrence's, are his. These 
and numberless other minor evidences help us to understand 
something of the conditions under which Diirer'a mind and 
tastes developed. 

Into this Niimberg there came upon his wanderings, on the 
11th of March, 1455, a young goldsmith. He was twenty-eight 
years of age, and bore the name of Albrecht Diirer. His home 
lay far away in Hungary at a village called Eytas, a German 
settlement. He came of a race of herdsmen; but his father 
was a goldsmith, and this the eldest son was following the same 
calling, which brought him on this day to Ntimberg, after living 
for a long time among the great Netherland artists. It was a 
festal day. There was a great dance under the old Linden-tree, 
which stiU stands in the court of the Eeichsveste, for young 
Philipp Pirkheimer was celebrating his wedding-feast. Albrecht 
took it for a good omen. There, amidst so gorgeous a display of 
gold and silver, seemed a home for his craft. Yet he could not 
dream that in after days his name would be associated for ever 
with that of the bridegroom; nor could the bridal guests or 
lookers-on see in that unknown idler anything which fore- 
shadowed glory to their native town. 

He found employment with Hieronymus Holper, a master 
goldsmith of repute ; and after serving him for twelve years, 
married his daughter Barbara, a beautiful and virtuous maiden 
of fifteen. At the same time Diirer the Elder, as he is called, 
became a sworn member of the Goldsmiths* Guild as "Albrecht, 
Holper' 8 son-in-law," and was made a burgher. The next year 
he became a master goldsmith, and then for the first time was 
known by his own name. 

He took up his abode in a house in the Winkler Strasse, called 


the Pirkheimer Hinterhaus, a sort of appendage to the family 
mansion. Again fate at a critical moment brought the names of 
Diirer and Pirkheimer together. 

On the 5th of December, 1470, the only and longed-for son was 
bom to the Pirkheimers ; and on the 21st May, 1471, the third 
child, and second son, of the goldsmith Diirer saw the light. 

Antonius Koburger was his godfather, and gave him the 
name of Albrecht. Notwithstanding the difference in rank of 
the two children living under the same roof, no doubt they 
played together, and then was forged the first link of that chain 
which for ever united so closely the two greatest men of 
Niirnberg — ^the artist and the scholar. JSTo doubt the soul of the 
child Albrecht received in those very early days an elevating 
influence in the house of Pirkheimer, though he was but five 
years old when his father removed from the Hinterhaus. 

Holper's death seems to have improved the position of his 
son-in-law, and enabled him to buy a house for himself. It was 
Peter Kjafft*s, "No, 493, unter der Vesten, the corner house of 
the street. The surroundings of the new house were not without 
an influence upon the future artist. It was in the neighbour- 
hood of Wolgemut, Schedel, koburger, and Sebald Frey, the 
uncle of his future wife. 

Albrecht the Elder constantly improved his position by his 
own merits, but his means were barely sufficient to provide his 
numerous family with necessaries. Frau Barbara presented him 
with a stately roll of eighteen children, of whose births, even to 
the hour and respective sponsors, he made careful note. Most 
of them died young ; still we may readily imagine that the 
father's life was no easy one. Little is known of him as an 
artist, or of the work done in his shop near the Eathhaus, but 
his excellent son says of him : " He had a great reputation with 
many who knew him, for he led an honourable Christian life, 
was a patient man, gentle, in peace with every one, and always 
thankful to God, He had no desire for many worldly pleasures, 


was of few words, did not go into society, and was a God- 
fearing man. This my dear father was most anxious to bring 
up his children to honour God. His highest wish was that his 
children should be pleasing to God and man ; therefore he used 
to tell us every day that we should love God and be true to our 

As well as describing his father in such words, he has given 
us two paintings of him. The first was done at the end of his 
apprenticeship, before his Wanderschaft, as if he wanted to re- 
pay the old man for his education. The picture is in the Uffizi, 
He wears a black cap and brown overcoat. The face and the 
hands, which hold a wreath of red roses, are wonderfully life- 
like; the expression is earnest and calm, the mouth wonder- 
fully firm; the eyes look out clearly from a face of decided 
character. At the back of the picture is a sketch of the Diirer 
arms — a closed helmet, a bust of a Moor wearing a pointed red 
cap and a red jacket slashed with gold, between two golden 
wings at the top of two shields. One of these shows an open 
golden door on a red ground, the other a white ram on an £izure 
field. The former is known to be the arms of Diirer, or Thurer. 
The quarterings can only be those of Diirer's mother, and are 
doubtless those of the Holper family. 

The other well-known likeness of his father was painted soon 
after he got home, as if he wanted to give the old man an ac- 
count of what he had gained from his Wanderschaft. It is in 
the Sion House collection, inscribed " 1497. albrecht thurer 
DBR ELTER UND ALT 70 JOR." It was engraved by Hollar in 1644, 
when in the Arundel collection. 

During the four years in which he had not seen his son, the 
face of the father had changed much. It may have been that 
this separation from his favourite, and the strain upon his vital 
powers, brought the change the sooner. Before DUrer's return the 
upright Meister had become a bent, silent old man. Well for 
him was it that a grateful son could now step in and help him 


to bear the remainder of the burden of life; and thie Diirer 
did nobly. 

We are indebted for all we know of the elder Diirer to his 
renowned son, whose simple jottings do more to honour the 
father than the most finished panegyric. We trace his own 
first steps, and get a deep look into the smooth inner life of a 
German household regulated by industry, habit, and the fear of 
God. There are to be found the secret springs of Durer's power 
to express in visible form the longings of a period marked by 
struggles for inward freedom. This is why the works of that 
time always captivate us, and why the simple words in which 
Diirer relates the death of his father charm us. It is because 
we become conscious of that deep harmony which exists between 
ingenuous spirits. It springs up at first unobserved, and only 
when separated one from the other does that good which each 
receives come to the surface. 

Five years after Diirer completed the last likeness the father 
succumbed, not to the weakness of age, but to an attack of 
dysentery, " and when he saw death before his eyes, he sub- 
mitted willingly with patience." He died just after midnight, 
on the 20th of Sept., 1502. Diirer relates how they ran to his 
room to awake him, " and before I came down he had gone, and 
I am dead with grief that I was not worthy to be present at his 
end." On his death -bed he commended the mother to his 
son, " whom he had always praised to me, for she was a right 
pious woman; therefore I mean never to forsake her." 

Faithful to this intention, two years after his father's death 
he took entire charge of his mother. He describes the old 
woman — ^how often she went to church, how she corrected him 
when he did wrong, and how constant was her anxiety about 
the salvation of the souls of his brothers and himself. He 
cannot praise enough her goodness to every one, her gentleness 
under the trials of life, and her good repute. Therefore he 
cared for his old mother with affecting attention. During his 


prolonged residence in Venice in 1506, he was always thouglit- 
f ul for her needs, begging Pirkheimer to tell her to write to him, 
and " that she must give herself every indulgence." He warns 
the youngest brother Hans that he must not be a burden to her. 

At length, after she had lain ill at his house for quite a year, 
she felt her last hour approaching. On the 17th of May, 1514, 
she gave Diirer her blessing, received the farewell cup, and died. 

During her illness, and two months before her death, Diirer 
portrayed his mother in a large chalk drawing on the 19th 
March, 1514. The sharp, narrow head of the old woman, with 
marked, open features, and a marvellously expressive look, have 
something attractive in them. The drawing was in the collection 
of Ambroise Firmin Didot of Paris. From Durer's description 
of her by pen and pencil, she must have exercised a considerable 
influence upon his character, his fancy, and his soul-life. Of 
other portraits of the father, as well as the mother, which were 
once in Niimberg, no trace exists. 





IT is uncertain how many and which of the eighteen children 
grew up in the house with Albrecht. In 1524, when he 
compiled his family narrative, only two were living, Andreas, 
the goldsmith, and the youngest, Hans, a painter and pupil of 
IKlrer, He probably spoilt this pet of the family, who appears 
to have done no good in his brother's absence in 1506. We 
fmd him beseeching Pirliheimer to look after the boy and talk 
to him, and keep liim straight till he came back. In 1509 
Diirer is'advising his mother to get work for Hans, and says, 
"I would gladly have taken him with me to Venice, which 
would have been an advantage to him and to me sa well ; but 
the mother was afraid the eky would fall upon him." Hans 
was afterwards courtrpainter to the king of Poland. 

Andreas, the goldsmith, was made Meister in Murnbei^ in 
1514. Albrecht, to celebrate the event, drew hia portrait on. white 
paper. It is in the Aibertina collection at Vienna, engraved by 
Burtsch in 1785, and later lithographed by Pilizotti. Albrecht 
pwd him his share of the value of the family house in 1518. 


At Albrecht'B death he appears again to have got possession of 
the house, which he sold twenty years after to an apothecary, 
Quintin Werthaimer. Andreas continued to follow his profes- 
sion. He had only one daughter, who married a goldsmith. 
In spite of Albrecht's fortune, the last branch of the family- 
appears to have been in needy circumstances. On this account 
perhaps Andreas left NUrnberg to follow his brother Hans, and 
settled down in Cracow without permission from the Town 
CounciL In 1534 he was ordered to return, which he did. 
Four years later the Council gave him letters of recommend- 
ation to Sigismund, king of Poland, because there were outstand- 
ing debts to collect. It may be presumed, therefore, that Hans 
was dead, otherwise Andreas would have had no claims in 
Poland, From that time all trace of the Diirer family is lost. 

We have touched upon Albrecht's family first, so as to follow 
his individual life without interruption. 

There is no proof that the two elder children survived their 
childhood. Thus the father's hopes were centred in his third 
child. He delighted in him, too, because he tried to learn, and 
he gave him the best education that he could, imperfect as it must 
have been. Printed books were expensive in the fifteenth cen- 
tury, and Albrecht had to learn his lessons from a black board. 
But free Latin schools were established in many towns, and the 
desire for knowledge was great. Albrecht at least learned to read 
and write well, and his letters show that he was taught Latin. 

It is natural that the father should have destined him for his 
own trade. He was taken from school to the workshop, but 
there is no record of his work at this time. It is said, however, 
that he executed the Seven Falls of CJirist in silver. It must 
not be imagined that he learned more than the rudiments of 
engraving with his father. His first drawing attempts were in 
no way the result of his hours of toil in the goldsmith's shop 
under his father's direction ; on the contrary, they appear much 


more like work that was surreptitiously done, as indeed it was. 
In the British Museum is a sketch of a woman standing, a 
falcon on lier hand, and an odd Burgundian cap on her head. 
Upon the paper is an inscription, evidently by a playfellow, 
" Albrecht Diirer did it for me before he went to Wolgemut's as 
a painter, in the back-house, on the top floor, in the presence 
of Conrat Lomayer, now dead." In his free hours, too, he 
abandoned the Gothic designs for those little figures which 
he drew, to the delight of his comrades, in the nooks and 
corners of his father's house, or of those of his friends, till it was 
forced upon him that he was destined for something more than 
a goldsmith. " And now that I could work neatly my incUn- 
ation was more for painting than goldsmith's work. I told my 
father so ; but he was not pleased, for he regretted the time lost 
in learning the goldsmith's work." However, he yielded, and 
apprenticed him in 1486 to Wolgemut for three years. Fortun- 
ately there are other drawings of Diirer's during his apprentice- 
ship to his father, which show that the time was not lost, as the 
good old man supposed. His earliest work (now in the Albertina 
Collection in Vienna) is the Portrait of Himself , with an inscrip- 
tion added later by his own hand, "This I copied, out of a 
looking-glass, of myself, in 1484, whilst still a child. Albrecht 
Diirer, ^^ This half-length is done with surprising freedom. It 
is the face of a sensible, lovable child, in which it is easy to see 
the grand man of the future picture. The long hair is cut short 
over the brow, according to the fashion of the time. Despite 
its boyish imperfections, one seems to see through the large 
soft eyes the dawn of a childish melancholy of soul. The point 
of the cap is held by three buttons, and on the other side hangs 
down in a long fringe, which seems to be adorned with gay 
feathers. He wears an open jacket, which he holds together 
with his left hand, whilst the thumb and finger of the other 
hand point constrainedly to the right. 

Interesting as this first picture is, there is another of the 


following year, 1485, which marks still more distinctly the 
precocity of the artist. It is a Madonna under a canopy, with 
an angel on either side. The Virgin has a long head and high 
forehead, and wears a huge crown, in the style of the Cologne 
pictures of this date. She looks calmly upon the infant, who 
stands upon her knee and embraces her. It bears traces of an 
old style in unmixed purity and grace, which is never seen in 
his later works. In fact, the contrast is so great that no one 
would believe it to be original if it did not bear quite plainly 
his oldest mark A. and D. together, and the date 1 485. This 
confident handling of the pencil by a boy of fourteen is inex- 
plicable. These drawings show a conscious effort and artistic 
comprehension which he never learnt in the goldsmith's trade. 
They bear the character not only of the art of that period, and 
of NUrnberg especially, but the influence of a school of painting 
which was none other than that of Michel Wolgemut. From the 
inscription upon Diirer*s portrait of his master in the Pinakothek 
at Munich, we find that Michel was born in 1434. He seems 
to have remained in the Rhine districts after his apprenticeship, 
and to have transplanted the Van Eyck influence to Niirnberg. 
In the year in which Martin Schongauer of Colmar completed 
his Madonna in the Rosehishf Wolgemut first appears in the roll 
of Niirnberg citizens. He had married Barbara the widow of 
Hans Pleydenwurff, carried on his business, and had to maintain 
his step-children. The stern necessities of existence no doubt 
made him appear less in the character of an artist than as the 
master of an art factory ; still as a painter, the Peringsdorffer 
altar-piece in the chapel of S. Maurice ^ and many other works 
testify to his skill. He seems to have struck out the path in 
which DUrer achieved a reputation for himself as well as for 
his master. Least of all can this be disputed in the matter 
of those great publications by which Wolgemut became the 
founder of the NUmberg school of wood-engraving. For him, 

* Now used as a picture gallery. 


moreover, and for his studio must be claimed the greater 
number of the old copper-plates with the monogram W., which 
have been so often ascribed to Wenzel, Even in these, however, 
the diflference of treatment and the inequality in single plates 
suggest the idea of helping hands, and no doubt he had a large 
number of apprentices and assistants; but his was the master 
spirit, and it was to Wolgemut that Niirnberg was indebted for 
the introduction of the art of engraving on copper. 

The best proof of the honour which DUrer paid to his teacher 
is furnished by the excellent likeness he has left of him. The 
inscription on the picture says, that " Michel Wolgemut died 
November 30th, 1519, before sunrise ''-—exactly thirty years 
after Dilrer's apprenticeship was completed. It was painted 
from the drawing, now in the Albertina Collection, which was 
done in or about 1516. 

DUrer passes over the time of his apprenticeship with the 
remark, that God gave him industry, and that he learned well, 
but that he had much to suffer from his fellow - apprentices. 
This is all he says. Just as briefly too he passes over the years 
of his wanderschaft " When I had served my time my father 
sent me away. I was away four years until he called me back, 
I went away in 1490 after Easter, and came back again after 
Whitsuntide in 1494, which in this year was the 18th of May." 
Whither he first wandered, and where he spent those four years, 
can only be surmised from scattered traditions and from his 
youthful works. Much may be gathered from the sketch- 
maps which he brought from his travels. He seems to be 
endeavouring to shake off the traditions of the Wolgemut school, 
and to retain principally a feeling for the charms of landscape, 
the treatment of which he henceforth improved from the 
teaching of nature only. 

Christoph Scheurl, a neighbour of Wolgemut, says, that Durer 
wandered through Germany and came to Colmar in 1492. He 
was kindly received by Martin Schongauer's brothers ; but the 


master, whom he would have been delighted to see, and whose 
influence he had largely imbibed during the time of his appren- 
ticeship, had been dead four years. 

According to the old trade custom, Burer strayed from town 
to town, lingering a longer or shorter time in a place as fancy 
directed, working in this or that studio. Though we cannot 
find him in 1493, we have two works of his of this date. One is 
a miniature in tempera on parchment of the child Jesus ; the 
other the large Portrait of Hhnselfy also on parchment. Nurn- 
berg was intimately connected by commerce with the city of 
the Lagoons, and was familiar with her history. NUmberg 
merchants passed to and from her, and were well known in her 
factories, and Durer must have longed to see her ; but beyond 
what he himseK says in his sketches and letters, we do not know 
for ceitain that he was reaUy in Venice in 1494, though we 
venture to think that there is ground for assuming that he was. 
It is an important fact in his development. 

In 1506, February 7th, writing from Venice, he seems to 
refer to a previous residence there. The manner in which he 
first mentions Giovanni Bellini denotes that he first knew or 
learned to value him there ; for he writes further, " He is very 
old, and still the best painter," and " that thing," meaning work, 
" which eleven years ago pleased me well now pleases me no 
more, and if I had not seen it myself I would not have believed 

Now this alteration in judgment which he finds upon the 
evidence of his own senses took place in the eleven years, which 
would be from 1494 to 1505, when he was again in Venice. The 
same Christoph Scheurl of whom we have spoken seems to 
have known of this residence of Diirer in Venice, for he writes 
in 1506, "Qui quum nuper in Italiam rediisset .... tum con- 
salutatus est alter Apelles '* (" and when recently he came hack 
into Italy then he was generally received as a second Apelles "). 


We do not know under what influence the young German 
apprentice found himself; probably it was under that of the 
school to which Jacopo de* Barbari belonged, whose relations 
witli Niimberg, as we shall find hereafter, were very intimate. 
From this first residence in Venice comes a miniature of a Lion 
with the A and D mark, 1494, in the Harz collection at 
Hamburg ; it is the earliest copy of a lion from nature by the 
hand of a northern artist. Diirer's special study at this time 
was landscape. A number of such studies, views of castles and 
towns, belong to a journey through the Tyrol into Italy in 
1493-4. The view of Insyrug in the Albertina, that of Trient 
at Bremen, — that also of Tnent in the possession of Mr. Malcolm 
in London, — the Fenedier klawsen in the Louvre, the Welseh 
schloss in the Hausmann collection, and other sketches, most of 
which are marked by Diirer himself, belong to this series. He 
knew that he could only learn the mysteries of ^N'ature from 
Nature herself, and accordingly devoted himself to the study 
with an energy which is remarkable, considering that he had to 
look for profit from his work ; and yet there was none to be 
obtained from the sale of landscape-painting. A century before 
him the Van Eycks had begun to borrow the backgrounds of 
their pictures from nature ; but Diirer went further, and copied 
the details in a way which entitles him to be considered the 
founder of independent modern landscape-painting. The more, 
however, he developed a taste for figure-drawing the less import- 
ance he seems to have attached to landscape ; not that he was 
indifferent to its charms, for in the Netherlands journey of 1520 
he fotind the town of Middelburg "delightful to sketch." 


dCbbb's portrait, 1493 — bstdbn to NOBHBBBO MABRIAGB — 

fbey family — portraits of his wife — fables about un- 




DUEEK'S portrait of himaelf in 1493 gives us en idea of his 
appeontnce during his wanderachaft. Goethe, who saw it, 
describes it as invaluable. It is the pictuie of a gaily-dreseed 
youth, half life-size. He weara a purple cap, an embroideTed 
shirt, the folds of vhich are tied with peach-coloured ribbons, a 
loose blue-grey cloak with yellow strings, and carries in hia hand 
a blue flower called " Man's Fidelity." The youth ia handsome, 
with an earnest look, and wears the signs of manhood an his 
lip and chin. "The whole," Goethe continues, "ia adndiably 
drawn and worthy of Diirer," 

The picture, damaged even at that time, has been transfened 
to canvas and restored. Only the lower part, with the hands, 
show the original painting. It is the boy of 1484 over again, 
but more mature. In none of his other portraits la he so 
carefully dressed, like a young man of fashion, not a wandering 
apprentice. Was the likeness done in Venice f "Why was it 
done at all) By his father's commands he returned at the end 


of May, 1494; and "when I had returned," he says, "Hans 
Frey was in treaty with my father, and gave me his daughter 
Agnes and 200 gulden with her, and celebrated the wedding, 
which took place on July 14, 1494." Matter-of-fact as such 
arrangements were in those days, yet the few weeks between 
Alhrecht's return and his marriage could scarcely have been 
enough for the arrangement between the fathers. Bather more 
probably the elder Diirer was endeavouring to promote his son's 
interests, and that the portrait was sent Uh please the bride and 
satisfy the father. 

The connection with the Freys was advanttigeous to the-Dorer 
family. Hans Frey was a man of consideration and property in 
and out of the town, and kept ai good house by the Wohidei 
Gate. He was not an ordinany man, but " expert in all things." 
He understood musicj and had a taste for invention, but was 
neither a professed musician nor mechanist. He left at his 
death a considerable fortune. His wife, Agnes's mother, was 
descended from one of the principal Niimberg families. Diirer 
was on excellent terms with them both, and no doubt was 
substantially assisted by them. He carefully and affectionately 
records the death of each. 

We may assume then that Diirer made a capital match. The 
bride's personal advantages, moreover, corresponded with her 
position and property. The master has left us- many proofs of 
this. There- is a sketch in the Aylbertina< Collection, another in 
the Kunsthalle at Bremen, the same girlish* face and straight nose. 
In the portrait of 1500 she has developed into a handsome 
Hausfrau' in a white cap and richly-trimmed dress. In 1504 
again he portrays her in the bloom, of her beauty. As we think 
of this woman by Albrecht's side, we must confess that a hand- 
somer couple never passed through the Brautthiire of S. Sebald. 
Yet they were destined for a mark, for the jest or pity of a 
future generation, and their marriage a by-word for unhappiness 
— an unhappiness which, perhaps, existed only in the diseased 



mind of his friend Pirkbeimer, and finds its sole expression in a 
certain letter to Tscherte, the imperial architect in Vienna, a rough 
copy of which is in the Niimberg Library. In connection with 
this idea too, and as to some extent the cause of it, there exists 
another, equally fabulous, as to Diirer's destitute condition. Let 
us see what we know about both of these affairs, so that we need 
not be constantly alluding to them. After the marriage he took 
her to his father's house, contrary to the Niirnberg custom. They 
were living there at least when his father died in 1502. He had 
supported the infirm old man, and now took upon himself the 
care of his mother and the younger children, no easy matter for 
the young master. He writes in 1506 from Venice : "For my- 
self, I might not go to ruin ; but to support a number is too hard 
for me, for no one throws money away." It is true that, from 
remarks in his letters to Pirkbeimer, we might imagine that he 
left Venice almost empty-handed ; but soon after he came back 
he was able to pay his debts, and redeem a mortgage on the old 
home. This place, moreover, did not long content him. In 1518 
he became sole proprietor of two good houses in Nurnberg. So 
much for what he calls "sheer poverty." The best insight into 
his position, his character, and his relations with his wife, is no 
doubt obtained from his iBTetherlands diary. There is no trace 
of dissension between them. If there is any anxiety about 
money, it was with regard to the profitable investment of his 
savings. For this reason it was that he applied to the council 
of his native town to receive 1000 gulden, and give him interest. 
It was from this capital that his widow was able to found a 
theological scholarship at Wittemberg, for which Melanchthon 
thanked God and lauded Agnes. 

Again, as Diirer died without a will, and left no child, the widow 
had a right to everything. At her death one-fourth would go to 
his brothers. What did she do 1 She had everything valued, gave 
up the fourth part at once " of her own accord and good friend- 
ship, which she felt for them for her husband's sake, as being their 


dear sister-in-law." After the valuation she parted with several 
useless things, and in doing so committed an error which has had 
a serious effect upon her memory. Among DUrer's collections 
were several pairs of antlers, one pair of special heauty. There 
was a great rage for these things in Niimherg, and Pirkheimer 
seems to have caught the infection. There was nothing in 
Diirer's possession which he so coveted as this particular pair of 
horns. When therefore Diirer's widow disposed of them without 
letting him know, he must have written that famous letter to his 
friend Tscherte, the architect at Vienna. It was written a few 
weeks before his death. His health had been bad for ten years ; 
and after Dilrer*s death he had withdrawn'sulkily into seclusion. 

This extraordinary letter had no other purpose than to avenge 
himself for the loss of these antlers. " Albrecht Diirer,'* he says, 
" had some horns, and amongst them a splendid pair, which I 
should have liked, but she (viz. the widow) has sold them for an 
old song." Hence the anger against poor Agnes which he pours 
forth. "She tormented him (Albrecht) that he died all the 
sooner, for he was dried up like a bundle of straw, and dared not 
go into society." Now we know from Melanchthon that this was 
not true in 1520. If, later on, his wife kept him at home for his 
health*s sake she only did her duty. But Pirkheimer maintains, 
that " she kept him hard at work day and night," only that he 
might have the more to leave her when he died ; for she was 
always fancying that she would starve, " which she still does, 
though Albrecht has left her 6000 gulden." 

What we know and shall see of Diirer^s business during the 
later years of his life is quite inconsistent with Pirkheimer's 
statements. The fact is, that there could be little sympathy 
between the man of pleasure and the plain, perhaps somewhat 
narrow-minded, burgher wife, of whom he was obliged to confess 
that she was no knave, but a "pious and God-fearing woman." 

The contents of the latter part of the letter weakens the force 
of his accusations against Agnes. The whole world had gone 



wrong with him. The harbarous Turk, the disunited Christians, 
all the events of the time, especially those of Numherg, were 
depicted in the darkest colours. As to the prominent religious 
doctrines, " God preserve all lands " from them, says the man 
who was a chief promoter of the Reformation, and who, ten years 
before, was included with Spongier in the bull of excommunica- 
tion against Luther. Now on the verge of the grave he gives 
up his faith and his friend : Spengler shares with Diirer's wife 
the fate of being slandered in this- letter, and whatever value 
there is in such language as ** he was a man whose deeds con- 
tradicted his words, and that his writings were published to suit 
both himself and the times, that he was once the good friend of 
Pirkheimer and Diirer, but had worn his friends out ; " what- 
ever value there is in the one-sided statements about the Reform- 
ation period, the same value is there in his remarks about Agnes ; 
and this value can readily be estimated. 

After Diirer's return home he at once set up a workshop in 
his father's house, where he lived for fifteen years with his young 
wife, eagerly devoting himself to work, amidst the cares of 
his little house, and bearing the additional family burdens to 
which we have alluded above. He seems to have followed 
Wolgemut's practice of giving sketches to his apprentices to fill 
up. Happily, however, there is one work entirely his own, a 
triptych — the Dresden Altar-piece. It came from All Saints 
in Wittemberg, and is mentioned by Scheurl, and was probably 
painted by order of Frederick the Wise of Saxony. It is in 
water-colour on fine linen, done in that rapid style which was 
natural not only to the German masters, but also to Mantegna 
and Veronese. On the central panel is a half-length Madonna. 
The figure is slight, the dress blue, with a white veil. The long 
face is turned adoringly towards the infant asleep upon a pillow 
watched by an angel. Over Mary's head two other angels hover, 


bearing a crown. In the foreground two boy angels are busy 
cleaning the room. Behind, in another room, Joseph is at work. 
From the window is a view of a German yard, with trees and a 
waggon. It is a prelude to the description of the home-life of 
the Holy Family in the Life of the Virgin^ by which Diirer 
made himself immortaL The one wing contains a life-size figure 
of S. Anthony the hermit, reading. The powerful head bent 
earnestly over the book, the strong knotty hands are very 
truthfuL The by-work is carefully drawn — the crown of 
roses, and a scarce-noticed little monster by the side. On the 
other wing is the half-figure of a suppliant, supposed to be S. 

The )S. Vitiv» altar-^ecey painted a few years later, bears the 
electoral arms of Saxony upon the wings. It was in the chapel 
of the Archbishop's palace at Vienna, now at Ober St. Veit, near 
that city. Probably this also came from Wittemberg. I'he 
original sketch is in the Museum at Basle, inscribed by his own 
hand, " Albertus Diirer, 1502." The Sebastian in the left wing 
is all his, but most of the work is by Schaufelein, who was a 
pupil of Wolgemut, and worked with Dilrer till he went to 
Venice in 1505. He, more than any other, adopted Biirer's 
style, but there were two other men deserving notice, his associ- 
ates in these early days, Kulmbach and Baldung, called Grien. 
The former worked for the master latsr on. Wiih the latter 
Diirer was intimate. He carried some of his works, as well as 
Schaufelein's, to the Netherlands to sell. Baldung received a 
lock of Diirer's hair at his death, which the family still keep as 
a precious relic. These men seem to have been the centre of a 
group of painters whose works, the more or less finished school- 
pictures, are often confused, one with the other. They were 
productions of the early and obscurer school of painting and 
drawing in distinction from the later one of engraving. After 
the first painting studio was closed, Diirer did not open another 
on so large a scale. He abandoned the trade in votive pictures, 


ambitious of larger paintings by his own hand, till he grew tired 
of painting altogether. 

The most important production of the early Durer school, 
however, is the Baumgdrtner Altar-piece, now in the Pinakothek 
at Munich. The Nativity, with a landscape in the background 
containing the Annunciation to the shepherds, occupies the 
centre. In each wing is a knight with his steed, the one a like- 
ness of his friend Stephan Baumgartner,^ for whom the altar was 
designed, the other that of his brother Luoas Baumgartner. 

This picture marks the transition period between the school 
pictures and those larger ones of DiLrer's own. Whatever his 
part in these may have been, there is no trace of the inspiration 
of the Apocalypse in them. We should get from them no idea 
of his style were there not some early pictures from his hand, 
which serve as an illustration of his axiom, that " the use of the 
art of painting is in the service of the Church to exhibit the 
sorrows of Christ, and also to preserve the likeness of men after 
their death." 

Wilibald Imhof — the grandson of Pirkheimer, and brother to 
Hieronymus, Diirer's godchild, who died in 1580 — collected a 
number of Diirer's drawings and paintings, together with many 
spurious copies. These increased in number under his success- 
ors, who traded upon Diirer's name. 'No other master, not even 
Eaphael, has been such a source of profit as Dilrer. Hieronymus 
tells us, in the * Geheimbuch,' which belongs to the Niimberg 
Library, how the trade was carried on. For example, " A picture 
of the Virgin on wood, oil, small : " " my deceased father had 
Albrecht Diirer's mark painted under it, but it is not certain that 
he painted it." So grave were the doubts about the genuineness 
of the works in the Imhof collection, that when it was sent fop 
the inspection of the Elector Maximilian of Bavaria, who was a 
great admirer of the master, he would acknowledge none of them, 
but sent them all back without an order for even one. Two 

^ Sometimes written Paumgartner. 



years afterwards the collection was bought by a Dutch merchant 
for 34,000 thalers. The * Geheimbuch ' says, " God be praised 
and thanked, such a good bargain for us as we dared not expect, 
for certainly out of all sold there is not one great work, but 
chiefly small things painted in water-colours, and amongst them 
many about which it is doubtful whether they were painted by 
Albrecht Diirer at all." Still, after careful selection, there are 
enough to give an idea of his style. 

In 1497 he adopted his celebrated monogram, and the next year 
published the Apocalypse. His Portrait of himself of 1 498, there 
fore, may be looked upon as a justifiable exhibition of self-com- 
placency. He appears in fashionable dress, more splendid than 
as a bridegroom five years ago. His hands rest on the parapet 
which completes the picture. In the background is a village 
landscape girt with a mountain range and snow-covered peaks. 
Against it comes out the small head, covered with ringlets, with 
a fringe of beard on the face. The colour is pale and the tone 
feeble, but the picture is carefully finished. The eyes have the 
same look as in the face reflected in the mirror. The original is 
in the Madrid Museum ; a copy is in the Uffizi at Florence. 

The first picture painted on commission in 1499, -is the 
Portrait of Osicald Krell, in the Pinakothek at Munich. A 
painting of 1500 must be for many reasons singled out from 
DiLrer's works — Hercules fighting with the Stymphalian Birds, 
It is now at Niimberg, and has been painted over and varnished, 
except in some little places, one of which is a stone bearing the 
date and monogram. An outline etching exists at Darmstadt 
in the ducal collection. The principal figure exhibits the mas- 
ter's knowledge of anatomy in energetic movement and muscu- 
lar tension. The greatest pains have been bestowed upon this, 
while the landscape is shghtly sketched in. This is one of the 
authentic paintings in which the subject is secular, and not a 





THE close of the 15th century found Gennauy in a state of 
religious station. TheMwaa a struggle for freedom from 
the Papal system. In 1492 the notorious Alexander VI, became 
Pope, and Maximilian L head of the Boman kingdom of the 
German nation. Bound him flocke<l the estates and princes 
ec^er to establish peace, and restore a constitution. The in- 
fluence of the Pope in the affairs of Germany was the greatest 
obstacle. Whea in 1495 an imperial council iras considenDg 
the grievances of the people, the Pope issued a decree against 
publishii^ unauthorised books, for he discovered in German 
literature a force which was springing up to push him from his 
seat. There was a realm, however, which he left unnoticed — the 
domain of art. While he adorned his palace with the splendonro 
of the Kenaissance, insignificant German wood-cuts were under- 
mining the Papal system by speaking everywhere to multitudes 
whom writings could not reach. In the front of the aggressive 
artists came Wolgemut with his Pap«(-£srf (Pope's-ass), in 1496. 
It is inscribed ' Poma caput mundi.' On the left is the Castle 
of Sant' Angelo with a flag eveir it, bearing the key« as a device : 
on the right the Torre, di Nona, and between them the Tiber. 
In the centre is a female monster covered with scales. She haa 


the foot of a goat and the claw of a vulture ; her left hand is 
stretched out to clutch ; a cat's paw serves for her right. From 
under a mask shoots out a tail, sprouting into a dragon's head, 
and between the shoulders is that of an ass. Only under the rule 
of the patricians of Niimberg could this little copper-plate have 

Meanwhile, hard by, young Diirer was working at his Apoca- 
lypse. A year before, in 1495, he had made a sketch of the 
Babylonian Woman, for the last but one of his series of wood- 
cuts. The drawing is in the Albertina Collection. In the wood- 
cut there is a voluptuous woman sitting on the beast with seven 
heads, holding the * cup of abomination ' in her right hand. 
There is a group of people before her showing little concern in 
her presence. There is a king pointing at her as he talks, and 
a sleek countryman with a slouched hat staring with horror ; a 
soldier and a woman passing flippantly by. The centre figure, 
type of the boldest thoughts of the age, stands with his arm 
placed firmly on his hip, and gazes at the monster resolutely and 
inquiringly, in contrast with a monk close by, who alone pros- 
trates himself before the woman. Above hovers the angel of the 
18th chapter, and pointing to the city in flames upon the sea- 
shore, cries, " Babylon the great is fallen." And the other angel 
is casting the millstone into the sea, and crying, "Thus with 
violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down." To the 
left from the open heaven the * Word of God ' rides forth on the 
white horse, followed by the armies of heaven, to establish the 
new kingdom. The picture is a revolutionary song — " Alleluia, 
for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth." 

Even during his Wanderschaft, Dtirer was busy with a plaa 
of the Apocalypse. In 1498 appeared the first two editions, 
one with a German, the other with a Latin text : — Die heimliche 
Offenbarung Johannis, or the Apocalipsis cum Figuris : it was 
printed by Durer himself, -and adorned with fifteen wood-cuts. 

The first engraving shows the Bnffennge ef ike Evangelist in 


presence of the Emperor Domitian : the second the Vision of the 
Seven Golden Candlesticks, In the third we see the doors of 
heaven opened, and the throne of God set in the centre of a 
gleam of light. The book with the seven seals is on the knees 
of Jehovah. The Lamb who shall open them stands upon it. 
One of the four-and-twenty elders around the throne is speaking 
to the Seer. Separated by clouds from the celestial scene, and 
lying beneath, is a charming view of sea-shore, with trees and 
mountains^ castles and towers — a picture of peace, unbroken as 
yet by the torments which follow the opening of the seals. 

The sequel to this scene is found in the fourth cut, The Four 
Eiders. This, one of Diirer's most powerful drawings, has for 
centuries commanded universal admiration. He adheres faith- 
fully to the sacred text. The riders going forth to execute 
vengeance bear, the one a bent bow, the second a sword raised 
and ready to descend with a sweep, while the third is swinging 
back a pair of scales. The horses are ugly, the men wear fancy 
dresses of the period. Death, the fourth rider, a withered old 
man with staring eyes, swinging the infernal trident, bestrides a 
wretched jade. His legs just touch the ground. Behind him 
yawns the mouth of the giant dragon Hell, in the act of swal- 
lowing a crowned head. The group on the right represents the 
fourth part of men who shall be slain, in characters of the age — 
a NUmberg housewife, a sleek merchant, a shrieking peasant, a 
terrified burgher, and a tonsured head. 

There is no picture so unique in the series, for as a rule Diirer 
tries to introduce several subjects in one composition. Thus in 
the fifth cut. The opening of the fifth and sixth seals, in the 
upper part is The giving of white robes to the inartyrs, the 
comforting of those who were slain for the word of God. DiLrer, 
in 1521, refers to this subject when he writes of " the innocent 
blood which the pope, priests and monks had shed." Below, 
on the earth, the punishment of man has begun — emperor, pope, 
cardinal, ecclesiastic and layman, young and old^ are stricken 

Frfm tht iVocH Engraving, 


with terror, and are calling on mountains and rocks to hide 
them from " Him that sitteth on the throne," for " the great 
day of His wrath has come." In the centre of the picture between 
heaven and earth are the darkened sun and moon, and falling stars. 

There are also two subjects in the sixth cut. The four 
angels holding the four winds, and Tlie sealing of the elect. 
The angels are old and thin, not bearers of blessing but 
executors of wrath. Their long bony figures and huge vulture 
wings proclaim their vocation. Two of thein stand motionless 
with hand upon the sword, more powerful in their repose than 
a third who is in actual conflict with the winds. In the sky 
is the angel bringing the " seal of the living God " in form of a 
cross. Another lovely messenger of peace is sealing in their 
foreheads the " servants of God," among whom there seem to 
be some portraits. The seventh cut represents The giving of the 
trumpets to the seven angels, and the plagues following the 
sounding of the first five ; the loosing of the Four angeh which 
are hound in the great river Euphrates, by him who had the 
sixth trumpet, occupies the eighth, the most powerful conception 
of the series next to the Four Riders. Beneath the heavy sword- 
cuts of the little band rushing on upon their fire - vomiting 
horses with lions' heads every one falls. Their mission is 
against the third part of men, and they spare neither woman nor 
horseman. One is grasping the terrified pope by the shoulder, 
a bishop already slain lies behind him, and the emperor is 
vainly grasping at his trembling diadem. Only the angels in 
their whirlwind career have a right to exist. What is left from 
their swords is destroyed by the fire, the smoke, and the 
brimstone which come forth from the mouths of the monsters 
which carry them. 

The ninth cut vainly wrestles with impossible material 
Only the head and hands of The cloud-clothed angel of the 
\Oth chapter are seen, and the " feet as pillars of tire," as he 
offers the Evangelist the book to swallow. 


The Woman clothed with the sun is depicted in the tenth, 
standing upon the crescent moon, and upon her head a crown of 
twelve stars. Near her the seven-headed dragon is threatening 
her new-bom child, which a floating group of boy-angels is 
carrying up to God. DUrer recognised, by the wings with which 
he furnishes the woman " that she might fly into the wilderness," 
that some other than the Blessed Virgin is meant by the text, 
probably "The Church of God." The eleventh cut exhibits 
the War in heaven hetioeen Michael and his angels against 
the dragon. The charming landscape in the lower part of the 
picture is a relief to the fierce struggle waging above in the 
heaven. The figure of the archangel has always been admired 
for the mixture of energy and self-restraint which it exhibits. 

The Worshipping of the tioo beasts forms the subject of the 
lower part of the twelfth cut, while above sits upon the throne 
the Lamb having a sharp sickle in his hand; and angels are 
hastening to reap the world's harvest. 

The thirteenth crft which, contraiy to Diirer's own sequence, 
has been placed as the seventh, is the only pleasant picture of 
the series, and comes as a relief after all the terrible things 
which have gone before. Diirer purposely does not confine 
himself to one subject, in order that he may set forth the joyful 
issue of all things, the triumph of the redeemed multitude with 
" the Father's name written on their foreheads," and The glory 
of the Lainh. 

The last two cuts of the series seem like an after-piece of the 
great tragedy. The fourteenth. The Babylonian Woman, has 
been described. The fifteenth forms the conclusion, and contains 
an Angd of vengeance stepping forth to bind " the dragon " for a 
thousand years ; whilst above, another angel is showing to the 
enraptured St. John the "new Jerusalem couung down from 
God," which Durer describes in one of his letters as " the pure 
and Holy Gospel which shall not be darkened by human 


In the title-page to the third edition of this series (1511) 
Durer placed a vignette representing an Appearance of the 
mother of God to 8t, John as he is writing in a book. Perhaps 
he wanted to reconcile some who had taken offence at the 
apparent slight to her in the tenth cut. At any rate a half 
figure of the Blessed Virgin appears there on the crescent 
moon, and a crown of twelve stars upon her head. 

As regards execution, Diirer introduced a new epoch in the 
art of wood-engraving ; not that he engraved the blocks himself. 
He did as the rest of the old masters who traced in their designs, 
and left professed Formschneider (wood-engravers) to carry tliem 
out, though sometimes, it is thought, he attempted the cutting 
with his own hands. 

He required no colouring ; his skill in the arrangement of 
his lights and shades was far more effective than colour. 
He had the power of setting forth his meaning with unerring 
precision, so that his designs were easil/^ worked out, and this 
accounts for his influence upon the wood-engraver's art. As- 
regards sentiment, he has given us an evidence of the side to 
which he leaned in the religious movement of the day. Drawn 
as he was through his intimacy with Pirkheimei into the circle 
of the Humanists, of which Conrad Celtes was the centre, he 
found no relief there from the fetters of the Church of Eome. 
His nature was so entirely religious that it could only find 
sympathy with the Eeformers. To the period of his relations 
with the Humanists, however, many of his mythological wood- 
cuts must be referred. He furnished drawings for Celtes's books 
— the Philosophy, Apollo with Daphne, and Apollo in Parnassus ;. 
also one of Cdtes before the Emperor Maximilian. Some were 
not, however, to the taste of his^ employers, and were unnoticed. 
For instance, the beautiful etching of Apollo, in the British 
Museum, and that remarkable drawing in Windsor Castle, bear- 
ing the inscription " Pupilla Augusta," with the view of Niimberg 


in the background, which was probably intended for the title- 
page of Celtes's description of the city. 

By degrees, however, and for some time, Diirer seems to 
have been striving to curb his fancy, and to have sought for 
greater reality in the Schools of Nature, of the Antique, and 
of the Italian Eenaissance. It is in this period of his develop- 
ment that the influence of Jacopo de' Barbari deserves consider- 
ation. All information respecting this man seems to be very 
defective. He was probably by birth a Venetian, and was 
known among NUrnberg artists as Jakob Walch. He resided 
in Niirnberg apparently before 1500. Later we find him in 
the service of Philip, son of the Duke of Burgundy, and in 
1510 he was painter to the Duchess Margaret, Eegent of the 
Netherlands. He was dead in 1516. In Venice he was known 
as the Master of the Caduceus, and seems to have left the city 
for ever soon after the publication of his great map in 1500. 
Durer came into contact with him early, for he says that he 
found no one " who had described how to take the measure of 
the human form, but a man called Jacobus, a native of Venice, 
a charming painter. He showed me a man and a woman taken 
by measure, so that at that time I would rather have seen what 
his meaning was than a new empire. But at that time I was 
young, and had never heard of such things." To him and his 
Vitruvius, Diirer ascribes his first knowledge of proportion. To 
judge, however, from his own figures, Barbari's knowledge was by 
no means perfect. DUrer must, it would seem then, have known 
Jacopo either in NUrnberg or during that first visit to Venice 
which we have before assumed. It was not by accident that 
Albrecht, just in those years in which we find Barbari's influence 
at work, adopted that style of minute execution of details 
which is to be observed in the life-size stag's head in the Paris 
library ; the daw's wing in Berlin ; the stag-beetle in the Alber- 
tina Collection; the hares and the bouquet of violets, in which only 
scent seems wanting. Then there is the Madonna in the Imperial 


Gallery, Vienna, and the unfinished Salvator Mundi, which seems 
to mark a period at which Diirer was abandoning Barbari's style. 

In 1504 his first large panel painting, the Adoration of the 
Magi, was completed. It was a commission from Frederick 
of Saxony, and now adorns the Uflfizi. The Madonna, a true 
German mother, with the charming Infant upon her knee, receives 
the gorgeous Eastern sages ; while Nature, even to the flowers, 
the great beetle and two butterflies, seems to share in the solemn 
devotion of the worshippers. 

His largest copper-plate engraving — the 8, EustacMiLS (or 8. 
Huhertus ^) — exhibits the same qualities as this painting of the 
Adoration, If the great Charm of the picture is in the wonder- 
ful landscape, yet the detail of execution and the character and 
arrangement of the figures command the highest admiration. 
The apparition of a formal stag with a crucifix between its 
horns has brought the huntsman from his horse upon his knees. 
He kneels there, the picture of a grand convert. The horse 
tied to the tree is astonished at the unusual action of his 
master, and the hounds wait about in the most perfectly natural 
positions. The progress that Diirer was making under the 
guidance of Nature is marked in his treatment of animals, and 
likewise in his dealing with the human form ; he relies more 
and more upon himself, and less upon an imitation of Barbari. 
" Albertus Diirer Noricus f aciebat ; " so he inscribes his engraving 
of Adam and Eve, in which he shows himself master of his art. 
This, with the Satyr Family, the G^reat Horse and the Little 
Horse, exhibits his triumph over difficulties which we are but 
little able to appreciate, and shows how entirely he had taken 
his own course. 

^ The same legend is told of both saints. Diirer himself always called 
this print '' S. Eustachius," and it is therefore a better title than the more 
common " S. Hubertus." 



BELLINI — Tiniir — DORIB at bologna — RETDRH TO HCBN- 

WHETHER or not we have been right in attribnting to 
a fonner reBidence ii> Venice an iafluenw on Diirer'a 
development, we are certain of this fact, that for the last ten 
years the- great aim of his life had been towards tbo attainment 
of the h^hest and the best. His character had deepened, and 
the Beli-dependence of which we have spoken had displayed 
iteelf. The loss of bis father, and his own sickness, had mnch to 
do with tbia. There is a drawing in the British Museum — the 
Hmd of the dead Saviour crowned with thorns, the eyes closed 
and mouth open, the expression one of intense suffering — which 
bears- the inscription, " This I did in my illaess," and the date 
1503. There is, moreover, a series of portrait studies, including 
the one of his wife, and another of Pirkkeimer, very true to the 
life, which date from this time, and which lead up to the various 
representations of the Apostles in which Durer so much delighted. 
These are proofs of the discoveries which be had made " more 
than all other painters together " in their search after the real 
and the true. 

Frem Ihi fVaed EngravingiH " The Great Pasiicn." 


liowever, to which he has retreated, there is An angel appearing, 
bearing a parchment which contains the promise of a child. 
Joachim embraces Anna at the golden gate is a touching scene 
— that meeting of the old husband and wife. Then follows a 
picture of NUrnberg life ; the interior of the room where the 
Birth of the Virgin has taken place, and is the theme of con- 
versation among eleven gossips who regale themselves with beer, 
while the Child is being put into a bath. The fifth cut is the 
Presentation of the Child, now three years old, in the temple. 
She runs eagerly up the steps of the temple, followed by her 
father and mother bearing gifts. The Marriage of Mary and 
Joseph is performed by the high priest before ati arched portal 
richly ornamented in Gothic style. The bride is a genuine 
Niimberg girl, as is also her attendant in the high cap. Into the 
picture of the Annunciation there is a strange introduction of 
the devil, in the shape of a hog, watching from outside. The 
Visitation, which forms the subject of the eighth drawing, 
affords an opportunity for the introduction of a beautiful 
mountain landscape, and of the half-shorn " Diirer-dog." The 
Natioity gives a view of a ruined stable, with the Infant in a 
basket, the object of adoration by its mother and by angels. 
]S'owhere has the subject of the Adoration of the Kings been 
more happily treated than in the next cut, the tenth of the 
series. In place of the stable is a castle ruin, upon some frag- 
ments of which the Virgin is sitting happy with the Child upon 
her lap, who turns half playfully to the kingly old man kneeling 
before him. The second king is delaying his offering so as to 
encourage the third who is a Moor. Then follow the Circum- 
cision: the Presentation in the Temple; and the Flight into 
Egypt, which has the character of Martin Schongauer's drawing 
in the palms and exotics, and even in the shape of the donkey. 
But the most charming of the series is the Rest in Egypt, a 
picture of domestic happiness and repose. Joseph is at work, 
and a group of little angels, playing naturally about, gather up 
the shavings. One has the workman's hat upon its little head. 

Fivm tit Wood EngravtHg in " The Z^ft ef tki Virgin." 


The building in the back-ground is a strange mixture of wood 
and stone, with an introduction of work that looks like a piece 
of Diirer's own house in Nurnberg. Joseph is stopping for a 
moment to look at the Child in the cradle rocked by its mother, 
who sits happily spinning beside it. There are two grand 
angels watching over this charming scene of family life. In the 
next cut we see Jesus disputing in the Temple, and then follows 
the scene of his Parting with His Mother, after years have 
passed, before his last journey to Jerusalem. The Virgin has 
grown old now. The Son, a majestic figure in flowing dress, 
turns to bless her. She is wringing her hands in despair, and 
breaks down with the weight of her agony. 

When Diirer went to Venice in 1505, sixteen out of the 
twenty cuts of this series were finished. The Christmas^ an 
engraving representing the birth of Christ, has the date 1504, and 
is in the same style as if it were a part of the Life of the Virgin, 
The last two of the series, the Death of the Virgin and the 
Assumption (of which there is a drawing in the British MuseUm), 
dated 1505, were designed but not completed at this time. 

According to Vasari,. the cause of Diirer's visit to Venice was a 
suit against Marcantonio Eaimondi respecting these woodcuts. 
The only interdiction which the Signoria granted, however, 
was against the use of his monogram. On the later editions, 
therefore, of the copies of Diirer's Little Passion, Marcantonio 
left a plain tablet which he oftener used than his own monogram. 

In his letters from Venice to Pirkheimer, which are interesting 
inasmuch as they afford some slight idea of Venetian art society, 
though they are mainly filled up with trifles connected with his 
friend's affairs, Diirer describes the Italian painters as hostile to 
him. They were given to copying his engravings and wood-cuts, 
though they reviled his art and said it was " not antique." Some 
say that he went to Venice to escape the plague in Kiirnberg, others 
to sell his works and obtain commissions. One acknowledged aim 
was an order for an altar-piece for the church of San Bartolommeo, 
which came probably through Pirkheimer's friend Kolb, one of 

D 2 


the great German merchants connected with the Fondaco de* 
Tedeschi. This building had been burned down in 1504-5, and 
the rebuilding was entrusted to a German named Hieronymus. 
In Diirer*s first letter, Jan. 1506, he says, ** I have to paint a 
panel for the Germans for which they give me 110 gulden." 
He did not apparently know his worth at this time, for he says 
later that he would have done better to refuse the commission. 
Crowds of Italians came to visit his studio, and the nobles were 
friendly to him, but his art brethren were mostly jealous. On 
Sept. 8th he writes to his friend : ** My panel says it would give 
a ducat for you to see it ; it is so good and beautiful in colour. I 
have got much praise but little profit from it. I have silenced 
all the painters who said that I was good at engraving but could 
not manage colour. Now everyone says that they have never 
seen better colouring." It was finished on Sept. 23rd. The sub- 
ject of the picture was the Feast of Rose Garlands ; it is now in 
the monastery of Strahow, near Prague. The Madonna, holding 
the Infant Saviour, sits upon a throne in the midst of a pleasant 
landscape surrounded by the founder of the feast, S. Dominic, 
and groups of men and women kneeling who are being crowned 
with wreaths of roses by numberless little angels. In the centre 
Pope Julius II. receives his garland from the Infant, while Mary 
places a wreath upon the head of Kaiser Max. There are many 
familiar Diirer faces in the assembly, likenesses of some of the 
leading German merchants. Hieronymus the architect is, no 
doubt, that thin man with the rule in his hand. Apart from the 
scene are the figures of Wilibald Pirkheimer, and Diirer himself 
with a scroll bearing the inscription, "Exegit quinquemestri 
spatio Albertus Diirer Germanus M. D. VI." In the distance 
the eye rests upon the fortress and castle of Niirnberg. The 
composition is masterly, but the painting has suffered much. 

When Diirer announces the completion of this work to 
Pirkheimer, he tells him of another picture " the like of which 
he had never done." Probably this was Jesus among the Doctors^ 
now in the Barberini Palace in Eome, a picture with seven half- 


figures done in five days ; it seems intended for a great study in 
hands ; those of the Christ are the main feature of the picture. 
This painting has an historical interest, as showing the sympathy 
hetween the genius of Leonardo da Vinci and that of Diirer. In 
spite of the rapidity of execution, the minuteness of detail is 
remarkable, especially in the beard of one of the Pharisees. 
Diirer's hand was ready at such work. There is a pretty story 
told of old Giovanni Bellini, whose friendship with Diirer was 
most interesting. He wanted to get at the mystery of DUrer^s 
fineness of touch, and once begged particularly for one of the 
brushes with which he painted hair. DUrer produced his stock, 
and placed them at his friend's disposal. The old man, however, 
did not find among them the particular brush which he expected, 
and asked again. Diirer, however, assured him that it was a 
brush of the usual kind which he always used, an(J to prove it 
took up the first that came to hand and rapidly painted a lock 
of a woman's hair in such a manner that Bellini afterwards 
declared he would not have believed it had he not seen the work 
done. DUrer speaks in his letters with admiration and affection 
of Bellini, whose acquaintance he made soon after his arrival in 
Venice. " Gianbellini," he says, " has praised me much before 
many of the nobles. He wanted to have something of my work, 
and came himself to ask me to do something for him, and he 
would pay well. Everyone tells me what an honourable man 
he is, and that he likes me ; he is very old, and still the best 
painter." There was Titian too, a young man at this time, upon 
whom the presence of DUrer must have had some effect, and we 
even seem to trace in his celebrated Tribute Money an inspiration 
from the NUmberg painter, though of course it far surpasses all 
the German's work. There is a wonderful example of this minute- 
ness of style in the Dresden Christ on the Cross, dated 1506. 
The open mouth shows the teeth and tongue at the moment of 
uttering the words, " Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum 
meum," which appear in the inscription. 


In one of his letters Diirer says that he has sold almost 
all the panels which he had taken with him, and had plenty of 
commissions in Venice ; but he seems to have carried out only 
one of his intended excursions to other parts of Italy from which 
he hoped to have obtained some profit. His friend Scheurl 
tells us of his visit to Bologna, and was an eye-witness of the 
reception which was given him ; how they reckoned him first 
among painters, and declared that they should die more happily 
after their long-wished for sight of Albrecht. 

Diirer left Venice in 1507. His letters to Pirkheimer were 
found in a room which had been walled up in the house of 
Wilibald Imhof, which came into the possession of Christoph 
von Haller in the middle of the last century. Another letter 
was found in the British Museum. The first five speak of 
domestic cares and anxieties which followed him to Venice, 
and he repeatedly expresses his gratitude for his friend's help, 
who had provided him with money for his journey. Pirk- 
heimer gives him numbers of commissions for classical books, 
carpets, glass, crane-feathers — " fool's feathers," Diirer calls them 
— ^to put in his hat, and especially for precious stones. Diirer's 
mode of writing was very peculiar, but shows a freedom of style 
and intimate knowledge of his language. His nature thawed 
under the Italian sky, and he constantly deferred his departure, 
dreading to return to NUrnberg, where he says that he should 
only be a hanger-on. " How cold I shall be after this sun,** he 
says. "Here I am a gentleman." Unhappily Pirkheimer's 
letters with one exception are wanting, but this one proves that 
he wrote in Latin, which assumes Diirer's familiarity with the 
language. Indeed the artist mixes up bits of Latin with Italian 
and German in his correspondence in an unmeaning way ; still 
we are able from these letters to get a fair idea of his literary 
attainments which were considerable, and it is necessary to 
remember that he was an author and a scholar as well as an 


.. ^-^^-^ . -, . ' ,..'?. .^„^ 

.j'^.-— ,<- 








/>w« tit WteJ S»grai-iHg in " Tht Great Passien." 



DVREb's ideal madonna — MULLER — PLABTIO AND OTHER 


WHILE in Venice Durer took advantage of hia oppor- 
tunities of studying from the nude, aud on his return 
saenis to have devoted his powers to competition with the great 
Italian masters on their own ground. H.h Adam and Mve oi 1507, 
painted on wuoden panels, are the most perfect nnde figures 
which then had come from the hand of a northern artist. The 
original paintings were in the Kathhaus at Kiimbeig, and thence 
came into the possession of the Emperor Budolph II., copies 
being put in their place, which the French carried off in 1796, and 
presented to the town of Mainz, where they are still shown as a 
Diirer-treaaure. The or^pnals, however, found their way to Flor- 
ence, or, aa Passavant maintains, to Madrid. From the numer- 
ous sketches which he made for these paintings, some of which 
(those for the Eve) are in the British Museum, we may judge of 
the labour which he bestowed upon them. The position of 
Adam is the same as that of his engraving, except that the head 
is raised and the lips patted in delight, so that the tongue is 
visible. He holds in his left hand the branch with the apple 


on it which Eve has given him, stepping forward with a smile 
upon her face. He was soon employed upon another painting 
which contained a throng of figures, the Martyrdom of the ten 
thottsand Saints, under king Sapor II, It was painted for 
Frederick of Saxony, and is now in the Belvedere Gallery at 
Vienna. He writes to Jakob Heller, a rich merchant of Frank- 
fort : "I have heen troubled with fever for some time, and 
have therefore been hindered in my work for Duke Frederick 
of Saxony for several weeks, which is a great loss to me, but 
now I shall be able to finish his work, which is more than half 
done.*' On March 19th, 1508, he reports that in fourteen days 
it will be finished. " I wish you could see my gracious master's 
panel, I think it would please you. I have worked at it for 
almost a year, and got little profit from it, for I do not receive 
more than 280 Rhenish gulden for it, and have spent almost 
that over it." The representation of death in its most cruel 
forms is not fascinating, but the grouping and variety of attitudes 
afford an opportunity for the exhibition of the greatest skill, in 
foreshortening especially. Pirkheimer and the artist are uncon- 
cerned spectators ; the latter dressed in black holds a flag with 
the inscription, " Iste faciebat anno Domini 1508 Albertus DiLrer 

On the 24th of August, 1508, Diirer writes to Jakob Heller : 
" I beg you will offer the picture of the Virgin which you saw 
here to anyone whom you know requiring a panel. If a suitable 
frame is put to it, it will be a pretty panel, for you know it is 
carefully done, and you shall have it cheap. If I had to do it 
for anyone I would not take less than fifty gulden, but as it is 
finished it might be damaged here. Therefore I authorise you to 
let it go for thirty gulden, but it should go for twenty-five rather 
than remain unsold. I have spent much upon it, and have lost 
many a meal through it." Later he withdraws his offer in these 
words, " You need not look for a purchaser for my picture of the 
Virgin, for the Bishop of Breslau has given me seventy-five 


gulden for it ; I have sold it "well." This was prohahly the 
Madonna with the Iris in the Prague Gallery. 

But this picturo will not bear comparison with another to 
which he next devoted his attention, the Coronation of the 
Virgin, an altar-piece which he executed for Jakob Heller. 
It was to be set up in honour of St. James and St. Catherine, 
the patron saints of Heller and his wife, in the Dominican 
Church at Frankfort. Heller had much intercourse with 
NUrnberg, and found Durer after his return from Venice eager 
to undertake such a painting. The design originated with 
Heller, and the work was undertaken for 130 Rhenish gulden. 
The painter spent so much time over the centre picture, that he 
felt compelled to ask two hundred gulden. The merchant had 
made his bargain, however, and was not disposed to alter it, and 
wrote to reproach Diirer with not keeping his word. Diirer 
replies that of course he had rather hold to the contract than that 
any ill-feeling should arise, but he says that all artists value it 
at three hundred gulden, and that he would not take even three 
times that money to paint such another picture. He pledges 
himself to do every stroke of it himself, and was more pleased 
with his work than any he had done before, and he had rather 
it should go to Frankfort than any other place in Germany. 
So it was finished and sent off in August, 1509, done with the 
best colours he could get, and painted in some parts many times 
over so that it might last for a long time. " I know," he says, 
" if you keep it clean, that it will be clean and fresh for 500 
years, for it is not done as people usually do their work, so take 
care of it, and don^t let people touch it or sprinkle holy water 
upon it." The picture remained in the church for a century, 
and brought the monks a goodly income, and then Maximilian 
of Bavaria became its possessor. It perished in a fire at the 
Munich palace in 1674. A copy done by a good Niimberg artist, 
Paul Juvenel, took the place of the original; it gives an idea 
of the loss sustained, but there are evidences in Durer's own 


hand of its character. He made more numerous studies for it 
than for any other picture. Every hand and head and every 
piece of drapery was a study from nature. Diirer meant to com- 
plete his reputation as a painter by it. He seems to have left 
the side-wings to his pupils, among whom was his brother Hans, 
for Heller gave him two gulden for Trinkgeld. The inner wings 
represent the martyrdom of the Saints James and Catherine, 
and in the lower parts of the panels beneath their respective 
patron saints are likenesses of HeUer and his wife. The frame 
as well as the picture was from Dilrer's designs, and it was 
constructed under his direction. 

When the Heller altar-piece was furnished, Diirer set to work 
upon the All Saints picture, which is now in Vienna in the 
Belvedere. It has survived, while the Frankfort picture, whose 
immortality the artist foretold, has perished. The colouring is 
still bright and the leaf-gold untarnished, but the precious 
ultramarine, which was Durer*s favourite colour, has suffered. 
The first sketch for this picture was done in 1508. The paint- 
ing, an altar-piece, was destined for the chapdl of " The House of 
the Twelve Brothers," or Landauer Monastery, an almshouse 
for aged citizens of Numberg founded in 1501 by two benevo- 
lent burghers, Schiltkrot, and Landauer. The All Saints 
picture, or as it has commonly been called, the Adoration of 
the Trinity, like KaphaeFs Dispnta del Sacramento of about 
the same time, is a glorification of the Eoman Church, and the 
last from a German hand before the Eeformation. It is in- 
teresting to note the different methods in which these two 
renowned painters have treated the same subject. In the centre 
of both paintings the Trinity is the object of adoration, in the 
first place by the Blessed Virgin and by Jdin the Baptist ; but 
Eaphael has in view simply the idea of the Eoman Church as 
the spiritual head of the whole Church on earth. The apostles 
and saints are seated in dignified oonclave around the throne of 
the risen Christ, the theologians and fathers form a lower circle, 


In the Bdvalere, yiciiim. 


and are disputing with regard to the Holy Sacrament. Diirer's 
painting, on the other hand, for the ahnshouse founded by the two 
!Niirnberg coppersmiths, has for its object the revelation of the joy 
in heaven over the redemption of the creature by the mystery of 
the suffering of the sinless One. God the Father is enthroned in 
Majesty, and holds forth the Cross on which the Saviour hangs 
to the gaze of an adoring multitude of martyrs of the New Testa- 
ment, chiefly women, at whose head is the Virgin ; while on the 
other side John the Baptist leads the host of Old Testament 
worthies. The Church militant and suflering is depicted with the 
pope at its head. One cardinal is turning to encourage the modest 
founder Landauer to come forward, who is humbly kneeling 
with his household in his train. ^ The opposite side of the 
picture is made up of other classes of men — emperor, burgher, 
and peasant with a flail in his hand. There is a lovely coast- 
scene. On the right Durer has put in a portrait of himself 
holding a tablet, with the inscription that Albertus Diirer of 
NUrnberg did it in 1511. He sketched a frame for this altar- 
piece, too, rich in detail and ornament, and of antique design. 

The picture remained in Niirnberg for nearly a century, and 
then like the Adam and Eve became the property of Eudolph 11., 
who obtained it from the Eath. 

In this series of Durer's great paintings we must include a 
small but perfect one, the Madonna with the Pear, dated 1612, 
which hangs in the Belvedere at Vienna. The Virgin, in blue 
dress and white veil, is gazing with motherly tenderness upon 
the Child in her arms, which has a piece of pear in its little 
hand. This is one of the most perfect of Durer's Madonnas, 
and exhibits clearly his idea of the Virgin. Unlike the Italian 
masters, who always depicted a maiden in the graceful beauty of 
eternal youthfulness, he delighted in her relations to the Infant. 
She is generally occupied with Him. She is not so much an 

1 A pencil-sketch of Landauer's profile marked with Durer's hand, 
Landawer styfter, 1511, is in the coUectioQ of Mr. W. Mitchell. 


ol^ject of adoration as a Numberg mother full of natural instincts. 
As we saw in the Life of the Virgin, she is born amidst the 
prattle of NUrnberg gossips, dresses like a burgher's wife, and 
rocks the cradle or sits at her work as any other matron. She 
knows but one feeling, her love for the Child which grows with 
His growth, and feels the burden of sorrow which increases with 
the development of His destiny. The angels about the Child 
are as natural as Himself — little children full of fun, and always 
busy at their play. 

After 1512, the careful style which Diirer had adopted was 
abandoned, and he gave up with a sense of disappointment 
the practise of panel-painting for some time. It was only after 
his Netherlands journey in 1520 that his ambition was again 
aroused to emulate the wonderful colouring of the Flemish 
School. To that period belong many carefully-painted like- 
nesses and the large picture of the Four Apostles which was 
done for his native city. 

We are brought now to consider the numerous works ascribed 
to Diirer in hone-stone, ivory, and other materials, most of 
which bear his monogram, but nothing more. They are crea- 
tions of a much later date, and designed only to fill up the 
collections of the curious. It is true that Diirer had a reputa- 
tion as a sculptor even among his contemporaries, and so he 
had as an architect, but we have seen how little remains which 
can enable us to form an independent judgment. So is it in the 
matter of sculpture. The most famous works, and those which 
bear marks of the greatest authenticity, are the high-reliefs in 
hone-stone representing events in the Life of John the Baptist. 
They are the Visitation, which is in the episcopal seminary at 
Bruges ; the Birth of St. John, in the British Museum, dated 
1610, and having the monogram; and the Preaching in the 
Wilderness, in the Brunswick Museum. 

There are four similar reliefs in Vienna, representing events 


in St. John's life, but marked with a monogram S and G 
intertwined — that of Georg Schweigger, a sculptor and metal 
caster of considerable repute in Niirnberg in the seventeenth 
century. Three of these reliefs certainly are of the Diirer 
type, and derive their character from his woodcuts. And 
in Berlin there are portraits of Pirkheimer and Melancthon, 
done in metal by this same Schweigger from Diirer's engravings. 
These carvings are in strong contrast to the perfect execution 
of a small silver plate, which bears marks of being really 
Durer's work. It is a low-relief of 1509, cast in silver, repre- 
senting a female figure, and exhibits many points peculiar to 
Diirer. It is on one of the corners of a satchel, and appears 
to have been a present from Diirer to Helena Imhof on her 
marriage. The work may have come from his brother's work- 
shop, and may have been done from a design which he 
supplied, for he could not have imdertaken such a commission 
himself, interested though he was in metal-work, and familiar 
with it from the time which he spent with his father. 

Whether Diirer tried his remarkable skill in the production 
of other plastic works must be left undecided. The authorship 
of many medallions which bear his monogram is still more 
questionable. The most valued are a portrait of his father, which 
is said to have been done in 1514, another of his wife, and a 
profile of Wolgemut. Towards the end of the 16th century, the 
practice of coin-collecting came into vogue in Niirnberg, and it is 
not surprising to find that Durer and his friends were favourite 
subjects. The idea that he interested himself in such work is 
refuted by an answer which he gave in 1509 to the Elector 
Frederick, who sent to him for advice upon the casting of some 
coins — " he did not trouble about such things, and could give the 
Elector no satisfactory information." There are many evidences 
that he was good-natured enough to supply all sorts of designs 
to goldsmiths and others, and his brother Andreas's workshop 
was open to him if he wanted to try Ms hand, but no actual 


encroachment upon the rights of the Goldsmiths' Guild would 
have been permitted, and metal-working was subject to special 
superintendence. In his Netherlands Diary he speaks of draw- 
ings for a woman's frontlet which he made for an Antwerp 
goldsmith; at another time of designs for dagger-handles. 
There are also goldsmiths' designs in Bremen and in the British 
Museum, but there is no need to add anything doubtful to a 
list of works which he actually performed, so numerous and 
so varied as to excite the greatest wonder. 

In Vienna there is a memento of his skill in painting on 
glass; it represents the Holy women imiling over the body of 
Christ. Durer never gave up miniature painting in tempera 
upon parchment and paper, but he used it chiefly in copying 
plants and flowers and animals from Nature, in which he tried 
to rival her. It is difficult to draw a line between his genuine 
yfoik and the multitudes of pieces attributed to him in the 
Albertina Collection at Vienna, in Bremen, and in England. In 
the Albertina Gallery there is a master-piece, The Dead Roller 
(corracias garrula), a bird of most beautiful plumage, and a second 
drawing of one of its wings. These are dated 1512. There are 
also in the Berlin Museum the wings of a Nut-pecker, and single 
feathers of the same bird, together with other drawings which 
exhibit a beauty of execution beyond description. 

The Wing^ of a Jay — a tempera drawing signed and dated 
1524, the property of Mr. Alfred Morrison, is another mar- 
vellous example of Diirer's powers of miniature painting. It 
attracted much notice at the Exhibition of Works by the Old 
Masters in 1879. 

A remarkable specimen of Diirer's exquisite fineness of paint- 
ing is a grey diptych for a private altar, dated 1510. It repre- 
sents CJirist leaving the tomb, and the parallel of Samson 
slaying the Philistines with the jaw-bone. It is first mentioned 
among the pieces in the Imhof collection, and appears to have 
been sold to Eudolph II. It was in the Imperial Gallery at 


Yienna in 1783, but soon after that the one part, depicting the 
Besurrection, eeema to iLave been separated from the rest. It is 
now in the AJbertina GaUery ; the other half ia iu Paris, in M. 
Hullot's possession. Each of the sides consists of three divisions, 
bordered by Renaissance devices. The uppermost part contains 
the principal subject inclosed in an arch springing from pillars. 
The inscription on the tablet, " Albertus Diirer Norenbergeasis 
faciebat post Yirginis partum 1510," and the monogram are an 
evidence of the value which the artist put upon this, the finest 
specimen of his linear drawing. He ouly used this form of 
marking for his best pictures. 





DUKER was not yet content with his achievements in the 
art of copper-engraTing. He devoted himself to obtaining 
a atill finer and freer use of hia graviog-tools, and at the aame time 
Bought out every method of peifectii^ his work. After his 
return from Venice, as we have aeen, he partially laid aside the 
graving-tool, and occupied himself with panel-painting, thinking 
thereby to improve his position la 1507, however, he com- 
pleted only the first plate of his Copper Paseion, the Desffnt 
from the Cross ; two others followed in the nest year. Ten of 
the sixteen plates of which it conaists are dated 1513; the last, 
Peter and John healing thi Lame Man, was added the next 
year. This, as distinct from the Great and the Little Passion, 
is less known perhaps, but is in no way inferior to them. The 
frontispiece represents the Man of Sorrows standing by a pillar 
with his arms crossed upon his breast, and holding in the one a 
aconite, in the other a reed. Through an arch upon a distant 
hill are seen three crosses. It is followed by The Agony ; The 
Betrayal; Christ before Caiaphas ; Before Pilate ; Scourged; 
Mocked; The Ecce Homo; Pilate washing his Hands; Christ 


hearing the Cross ; The Crucifixion ; The Descent from the 
Cross; The Entombment; The Descent into Hell, In this 
grand plate, as Mrs. Heaton beautifully describes it, he "has 
entirely departed from the conventional method of representing 
hell." He is releasing " not disembodied spirits, but real men 
and women, . . from the chain of their sins. . . The figure of 
Christ here is very grand. . . The principal idea that this figure 
conveys to the mind is that of help — power to help — help to 
ascend from the underground abodes of doubt, darkness, and 
despair towards the blessed light of God's love." He is 
" preaching to the spirits in prison,** as S. Peter describes 
him. This plate is followed by the Resurrection y and the last 
plate Peter and John, which is mentioned above. 

In 1510 Diirer made many experiments which were destined 
to be of great importance in the future of the art of engraving. 
His first attempt at a lighter and freer style is the 8, Veronica 
with the handkerchief ; the Man of Son^ows; S. Jerome with 
the Willmo ; the Holy Family by the wall, all executed with 
the dry point. 

Etching upon iron was by no means unknown to DUrer, and 
in the growing taste for ornamented armour he found a rich 
field for its employment. This may be assumed from three pen 
and ink drawings for armour, dated 1517. So far as we know he 
was the inventor of the art of etching with aquafortis. Professor 
Thausing is of opinion that he employed it on copper-plates in 
1510-14, but finding that the acids were not strong enough, and 
that the plates required so much labour in touching up with the 
dry needle, he gave up and tried etching upon iron, which suc- 
ceeded perfectly. The brittleness of the metal, however, did 
not admit of the delicate perfection which would satisfy Diirer. 
Moreover, it was liable to rust. About 1514 he seems to have 
adopted a method which combined the old style of working with 
a dry needle and graving tool only, and his later discovery of the 
use of acid. He at first lightly etched the plates with the aid of 

D B 


aquafortis, and finished them stroke by stroke with the graving- 
tool, a system which has lasted for centuries. The engravings 
which were completed by this method were not disfigured by the 
harsh contrasts observable in his earlier works, but were of a 
soft, silver grey. They comprise among others the celebrated 
works, the Melencolia; the 8. Jerome ; and The Knight, Death, 
and the Devil, 

Among Durer's special triumphs in the art of engraving was 
the Degenknopf, a gold plate, which contains in a circle of little 
more than an inch in diameter a representation of the Ci'ucifixion. 
A few impressions of it were taken, though it was not intended 
for engraving, but as an ornament for the handle of a present- 
ation sword to the Emperor Maximilian, The sword itself is in 
the Ambras Collection in Vienna, but the gold plate is missing, 
and its place is filled by a silver one of inferior workmanship. 
It is the smallest of Durer's engravings, and the only one done 
on gold. It was seen at Innsbruck, and again in 1556 by one 
Daniel Specklin, an architect of Strasburg. 

Durer's wealth of imagination, however, was expended rather 
upon wood-cutting than engraving. The great wood-cut of the 
Trinity (1511) is only a differeut rendering of part of the All 
Saints painting, but surpasses in careful and delicate execution 
all that had before been achieved. About the same time appeared 
a series which approached more or less nearly to this great work. 
The Man about to be scourged, of which the first sketch is in 
the British Museum, the Beheading of John the Baptist, and 
Salome bringing S. John's head to Uerodias ; the Mass-book of 
S, Gregory, dated 1511, and S, Jerome in the Cell, a worthy 
forerunner of the celebrated engraving of 1514, and others. 

In 1511 Durer concluded the great series of wood-cuts upon 
which he had been at work for so long, and issued them as 
books. He prepared a new edition of the Apocalypse, and 
added the title-page ; he enlarged the Life of the Virgin to twenty 

A POET. 51 

cuts with a vignette ; and brought the series of the Greater Passion 
up to twelve wood-cuts, adding the Last Supper, the Betrayal^ 
the Mocking, the Descent into Hell, and the Resurrection to the 
seven which we mentioned before. He also treated the same 
subject, The fall of Man and his redemption through Christ, in 
a series of thirty-seven wood-cuts and called the Little or the 
Lesser Passion, — the best-known, perhaps, of all his works. 

The improvement in his circumstances since his second 
residence in Venice enabled him to undertake the serious 
expense of publishing these works. He had a printing-press 
and all necessaries set up in his house, and no doubt was assisted 
by his godfather Koburger, the great printer. His illustrated 
books obtained a great sale in every direction. 

He was not, however, content with all the different characters 
which he had assumed ; he would also be a poet. In a charm- 
ingly simple manner he tells us how in 1509 he made his first 
rhymes. " There were two," he says, " and had each the same 
number of syllables, and I thought I had done them well." It was 
no wonder that Pirkheimer laughed as he did at them, as well as 
at the fresh attempt which the painter made upon " Eight gifts 
of wisdom " which he implored of God in very homely rhymes. 
His verse-making, which was perhaps not far below the standard 
of that day, did not last beyond 1510. By a curious coincidence 
Eaphael seems to have been the subject of a like poetical fervour 
at about the same time, and to have cooled as speedily. He was, 
like many other of the Italians, an ardent admirer of Diirer, and 
is even said to have adorned his workshop with the German's 
drawings, engravings, and wood-cuts. He became acquainted 
with them no doubt through Marc Antonio, who copied the whole 
Life of the Virgin and the Little Passion. We mentioned above 
that Raphael copied in his Spasimo di Sicilia, figure by figure 
from the Christ hearing the Cross in the Great Passion, His 
admiration for DUrer naturally gave rise to the desire to know 
him j and in order to establish friendly relations between them 

E 2 


Eaphael sent several of his drawings in 1515 *^to show him his 
hand." One of these, the Naked Picture^ is in the Albertina 
Collection at Vienna. In return he received a life-size Portrait 
of Durer by the artist's own hand, which increased his aston- 
ishment at the skill of the Numberger. He bequeathed this 
portrait to his favourite pupil Giulio Eomano, but it has dis- 

To the portraits of himself of 1484, 1493, and 1497, must now 
be added the celebrated one in the Pinakothek at Munich,^ dated 
1600, by which DUrer lives in our thoughts. A magnificent man 
he is, with rich brown hair falling in a profusion of well-ordered 
curls from his uncovered head ; he looks at us with that rapt 
but inquiring expression so peculiarly his own. His hand, which 
was of remarkable beauty, holds his "fur coat in a peculiar and 
not pleasing manner across his breast. The self- consciousness 
which all his portraits of himself exhibit must not be attributed 
to more than a legitimate vanity. He belonged to an age in 
which no light value was set upon personal appearance, and it 
was only consistent with his lofty sense of his own greatness that 
he should desire the honour of immortality, for he had a right 
to feel that such men as he should not sink into oblivion. 

At first, from 1485 — 1496, he used to put only the capital 
letters of his name to his works, and then he adopted the mono- 
gram, a large A with D enclosed. From 1503 he also added 
the date, and finally, to ensure the authenticity of his four 
greatest works, and to transmit his likeness, he adorned them 
with his portrait as well as the monogram, date, and inscription. 
In two of them he stands alone, but in two he associates his 
friend Pirkheimer with himself and his fame, and does not 
forget to let the world know that he is a German, and a citizen of 
his beloved Numberg. His friend Camerarius, a favourite of 
Melanchthon, and Eector of the High School in the city, speaks 
in his preface to Durer's * Four books of Human Proportions,' 

^ See Frontispiece. 


of the noble form well adapted for the abode of so glorious a 
spirit, of the charm of his language in conversation, of the 
greatness also of his mental and moral qualities, and extols him 
as " the truest preserver of modesty and chastity." No painter 
ever more fully realized the twofold character of the greatest 
event in the world's history, the Life and Passion of our Lord. 
He seems to have had a special revelation, and to have accepted 
the Divine mission of proclaiming the power of Christ in elevat- 
ing the every-day life of man ; and accordingly he depicted Him 
with all the realism of Schongauer and Wolgemut, as if He were 
living in the NUrnberg of his own day. But more than this, he 
grasped the idea of the redemption of man by the sufferings of 
Christ, and hence the marvellous conception and impressive 
treatment which the Passion pictures display. 

" Every mother is pleased with her own child " he used to 
say, and so he transferred his own features to his representation 
of the Eedeemer, while he threw his whole force into the pro- 
duction of a form which should present to the world the image 
of Christ which had appeared to his own soul, not an undefined 
approach to a heavenly shape, but an embodiment of that which 
is perfect in humanity. This is the highest effort of art. 



SO long as Diirer was occupiod in the pursuit of fame, or in 
the struggle for wealth, he had little time to devote to the 
interests of his city or to the glory of hia Emperor. But when 
his reputation was secured, and his position established, be had 
better opportunities for following his inclinations. In the year 
1509, he hecame possessor by purchase of the house near the 
Thieigarten Gate, in what is now called Albrecht Diirer-Straaae. 
The outside of the house has undergone but little alteration since 
hia day, though the interior has been re-arranged by successive 
owners. It is now the property of the city. In this same year 
he was made a member of the Eath, which increased his reputa- 
tion among his fellow-citizens and was a suitable acknowledgment 
of his merits. Soon after this, the Council gave him their first 
commission to paint two large panels with the portraits of CJiarle- 
magne and King Sigismund for the relic-chamber in ITumbei^. 
This chamber was ia the house of a citizen, and was used to con- 
tain the insignia and coronation ornaments during the night at 
the time of their annual exposure to public reverence, which was 
at Easter. These insignia, richly adorned with I'elics, had been 
in Niimberg since the days of Sigiamund, who brought them 

From Iht Engraving in Diidin's " Btograpkieal Tour" 


there, and they usually hung in a shrine in the dome of the 
hospital church. 

Maximilian's short stay in Numberg during February of th© 
year 1512 was important to Diirer, as it gave him the opportunity 
of establishing relations with " his king," as he always called 
him. Up to this time his Majesty's interest in the city did not 
go beyond a requisition of valuable lime of which the city had a 
monopoly, and which was used for making the crucibles employed 
in his brass foundry ; this was in constant work under Peter 
Vischer on the designs for his tomb at Innsbruck. The new 
town of Vienna, however, and not Innsbruck, was destined to be 
his final resting-place. 

The head of the Eoman Empire in Germany had no settled 
abode, but, when not actually engaged in war out of the country, 
travelled about from place to place. Maximilian wanted to have 
a printed record of his travels, and being a man of poetical 
nature, and having a childish delight in self-glorification, he was 
never weary of dictating verses or suggesting sketches, which 
described or illustrated the events of his life. In Diirer he 
found just the man for his purpose, and accordingly gave him a 
large part of his commissions. The book which received the 
name of The Triumph was to surpass in size and magnificence 
all that had preceded it, and was to consist of two parts : The 
Triumphal Arch and Tlie Triumphal Car. The designs for the 
first part were entrusted, in 1512, entirely to DUrer. It con- 
sists of ninety-two separate blocks, which when put together form 
one colossal wood-cut, ten feet six inches high by nine feet wide. 
In 1515 it was ready for the Formschneider, the celebrated 
Hieronymus Andreae, who executed the designs with the same 
precision as Diirer sketched them with his pencil or pen. The 
arch itself has three gates, the centre one of Honour and Power^ 
and on either side those of Praise and NohUity, Above the side 
arches are towers, and over the central one a large panel — ^the 
principal part of the design, containing Maximilian's great genea- 


logical tree, which rises to the top of the wood-cut. The events in 
the Emperor's personal history are detailed in twenty-four blocks 
in the space between the top of the side arches and the towers, 
each one of which is in itself a work of art. A guide to the 
sketches is supplied in verse by Stabius, the royal poet and his- 
torian, a man of extraordinary ability, who had been the com- 
panion of his Majesty for sixteen successive years. DUrer dis- 
played such remarkable zeal in this work that the Emperor, as a 
mark of his favour, requested the NUrnberg Eath to exempt him 
from all taxes, a ready method of payment without diminishing 
the royal resources. The request, however, was not complied 
with, and DUrer had to expend his strength apparently for 
nothing. Hieronymus also, to whose delicate cutting the perfec- 
tion of the wood-engraving is due, was obliged to be content with 
the favouring presence of the Emperor in his workshop, and thus 
it came to pass that at his Majesty's death, the artist and Form- 
schn eider were compelled to avail themselves of the permission 
which had been granted to them to make the most that they 
could of their work. They published in one lai-ge wood-cut 
twenty-one of the historical series as a memorial of the late 
Emperor, with a notice of his titles and death, which rapidly 
went through four editions ; the blocks for the entire work 
still remaining in the possession of Hieronymus. 

The intercourse between Stabius and DUrer during the resid- 
ence of the historian in NUrnberg was both agreeable and pro- 
fitable to each. Stabius secured the assistance of the artist in 
the preparation of his charts and maps, the blocks for some of 
which are in the Cabinet of Engravings in Berlin, while DUrer 
obtained from the Emperor, through the intercession of Stabius, 
an annuity of 100 gulden which was chargeable upon the city 
taxes due to his Majesty. 

In 1515 the artist published a drawing which is now one of 
the great treasures of the British Museum. It was the likeness 
of a Rhinoceros which was brought from India to the King of 


Portugal The animal, the first of its race to appear in modern 
Europe, created such a sensation that a drawing of it was sent 
to DUrer, who forthwith made it public in a wood-cut, which 
until recent times was the received representation of the strange 

The celebrated Prayer-book of Maximilian claims our notice 
at this time ; in it Diirer revelled unrestrained in the domain of 
fancy, if it is fair to speak of his quaint illustration of suggest- 
ive thoughts in such language. There are only three copies of 
the book known to be in existence ; one is in the Munich 
Library ; a second in excellent preservation and a marvel of typo- 
graphy is in the Vienna Library ; and the British Museum pos- 
sesses a third. The Munich copy, which is now very imperfect, 
is the one intended for the Emperor. The text was composed 
for his special use and given to Diirer to illustrate. He filled 
the parchment margin with pen-drawings (in different-coloured 
inks), which have been censured severely, though they are only 
an evidence of the liberty which the sense of the ridiculous takes 
with the gravest thoughts and most solemn language. Branches 
and leaves are intertwining, birds are singing, apes are climbing, 
snakes are creeping, and gnats are buzzing ; in fact, almost every 
living thing seems to be displaying its special gift, while the 
words of the prayers follow upon one another. The royal 
Psalmist is charming a listening stork with his harp ; the battle- 
prayer is enriched with scenes of combat ; a fox playing on the 
flute to fluttering poultry is illustrative of the wiles of the 
tempter ; and a group of village musicians is playing the * Can- 
ticum novum * with all the strength of their bodies. S. Anthony 
is exposed to the lures of an old woman with a high cap, and a 
wretched little devil in a picture of the Annunciation tears his 
hair and screams from the effect of the heavenly rays which are 
pouring upon him. So closely does the profane tread upon the 
heels of the sacred ; so readily does the ludicrous intermingle 
with the sublime. The delicate composition of the Christ on 


the Cross with John and Mary and the four angels which adorned 
the Eichstadt Missal, and afterwards Luther's Old Testament, 
was designed at the same time as these marginal drawings. 

The more the Emperor employed Diirer in wood-cutting the 
more the artist neglected his painting. So it is not surprising to 
find that the feeblest of his works date between 1513 and 1520 : 
those which do exist having little title to be considered authentic. 
The best among them are the Lucretia of 1518 and the Portrait 
of Wolgemut of 1516, both of which owe their merit to their 
having been sketched some years before. DUrer was as anxious 
as the Emperor himself for the success of the Triumph, of which 
the Arch was only one-half. The other part is called the 
Triumphal Procession, or, from the central object in the series. 
The EmperoT^s Triumphal Car. The design for this work was 
not confided to Diirer alone, but to many other masters, and 
especially to Hans Burgkmair, who is responsible for sixty-six of 
the wood-cuts. Pirkheimer drew the plan of the car ; it is now 
in the Frankfort Museum. It is adorned, he tells the Emperor, 
" not with gold and precious stones, which are the property of 
good and bad alike, but with the virtues which only the really 
noble possess." The Emperor is seated in the car accompanied 
by Truth, Clemency, and other Virtues ; the driver, horses, reins, 
and wheels are Virtues too ; but the merit is not the allegorical 
design. The drawing, which was carried out in DUrer's workshop, 
is now in the Albertina Collection. Pirkheimer sent it to the 
Emperor, explaining the causes of the delay in its execution, and 
commending the industry which DUrer had displayed. Among 
Diirer's special wood-cuts in the series are the Spanish Marriage, 
the Burgundy Marriaxfe, and the Small Triumphal Car, 
Altogether there are twenty-four cuts in the Triumphal Pro- 
cession, which are received as his. The wood-cutting was not 
finished during the Emperor's life-time. During the sitting of 
the Augsburg Diet in 1518 DUrer was permitted to take the Por- 
trgiLof Maximilian. The charcoal drawing, full of life, and of 

Fram a Drawing by DUrer in the Albertina GaUtry in Viama. 


life-size, bears the marks of hasty execution, but exhibits to 
advantage the noble head, the laughing eyes, and strongly-marked 
features. It is in the Albertina Gallery. The two wood-cuts taken 
from this sketch are of the same size. In one which DUrer pub- 
lished after the Emperor's death as a memorial, the portrait is set 
in a handsome frame of ornamental columns on the tops of which 
are griffins holding the Imperial arms and the order of the Golden 
Fleece. Beneath is the inscription : " The dear Prince, the 
Emperor Maximilian, departed this life happily on the twelfth 
day of January, a.d. 1519, in the fifty-ninth year of his age." 
The fine oil-painting in the Belvedere at Vienna is taken from 
the same sketch. 

The story of the Emperor's attempt to sketch with Diirer's 
charcoal which kept on breaking in his hand is attributed to the 
time of the Augsburg visit. Diirer had to finish the sketch, and 
the Emperor asked how it was that the charcoal did not break 
in his hand. " Gracious Emperor, I would not have your 
Majesty draw as well as myself," the artist replied with a laugh ; 
" I have practised the art and it is my kingdom, your Majesty 
has other and more difficult work to do." 

Another celebrated portrait, that of the young Cardinal 
Albrecht of Brandenburg y dates from the time of the Augsburg 
Diet. The engraving called the Little Cardinal was finished 
in 1519 ; the Large Cardinal, done on a larger scale, was 
sketched during the Netherlands journey or during the Diet at 
Numberg in 1522—1523. 

In Augsburg DUrer became acquainted with Cardinal Mat- 
thaus Lang, afterwards Archbishop of Salzburg, who was a 
patron of art, and knew the artist from his relations with 
Stabius. The beautiful Christ bearing the Cross in the 
British Museum, together with other drawings which bear the 
Cardinal's arms, are proofs of the commissions which he gave to 
Diirer. His month's residence in Augsburg must have been a 
pleasant one, and it was no wish of the Emperor that he should 


come away empty-handed, but alas ! gold was scarce with his 
Majesty at all times. There was a prospect, however, of a sum 
of money that Diirer was to have due the following year from the 
Niirnberg taxes, irrespective of his income. Maximilian wrote 
upon the subject from Augsburg in September 1518 to the Rath, 
and begged them to pay ** to our and the nation's dear and loyal 
Albrecht DiLrer, our painter, those 200 gulden in return for his 
faithful and willing services given to us at our command for the 
THumphal Car, and in other ways." Diirer bore the order 
home with him, but the Emperor's death made him fearful about 
the money, lest the new emperor should not acknowledge his 
claim. Accordingly in 1519 he offered to mortgage his newly- 
acquired house to the Council in consideration of their paying 
the sum in advance, but he was unsuccessful, and had to be 
thankful for the continuation of his pension. 

A change of government in the old German Empire was a 
matter of no small moment. Every one hastened to secure the 
favour of the new sovereign, and with it the privileges which he 
had enjoyed. "When therefore Diirer knew that Charles V. was 
to succeed his grandfather and to be crowned at Aachen, he 
determined to go to the Netherlands to meet him and obtain a 
confirmation of the pension which Maximilian had bestowed 
upon him. This was his chief reason for the Netherlands 
journey, in 1520, of which we are about to speak. 

There is some work from Diirer's designs on the Niimberg 
Rathhaus walls, but he had no share in carrying it out. The 
long wall of the old Gothic hall is divided by two doors into 
three unequal parts. For these divisions Diirer furnished 
sketches, illustrative of the three ways in which the immense 
hall was used ; for the Council Meetings, for the Administration 
of Justice, and for Social Festivities. The centre space is occu- 
pied by the allegorical subject, which originated with Apelles and 
had been attempted by a long list of celebrated artists, in which 
an incompetent judge is represented with large ears, into which 



Suspicion is whispering, ivhile Ignorance stands on the right 
side : at a sign from the judge, Calumny drags forth Innocence 
by the hair despite her appeals to heaven. The main space 
hetween the doors is occupied hy the Piper's Stool ; and Maiei- 
milian's Triumphal Car, painted on a la^e scale and corre- 
sponding with the grand wood-cut, fills the third. In the car 
the emperor sits alone. These are the only known frescoes in 
which Diirer had a share, even to the providing designs. 

^^^f^^^ ^ -ra ? \f^{ 



ON" the twelfth of July, 1520, Diirer set out on his interest- 
ing journey, the chief object of which we have mentioned. 
The plague, however, was raging at N'Umbei^ at this time, and 
everybody who could possibly leave the city did ao. He took 
with him his wife and her maid Susanna, who was more of a 
humble friend than servant. His journal is a strict aud amusing 
account of his travels, and throws more light, both upon his 
personal habits and reputation as well as upon the conditions 
of art and the manners of his time, than any other source of in- 
formation which we poaaeas. The first edition of it was brought 
out in 1799, and was followed by another, more complete, 
in 1B28. The original is probably hidden away among some 
family papers in Nurnbei^. It seems to have been a small 
book chiefly intended for entering his receipts and expenditure. 
He was a careful man, and put down every penny that he spent 
at each place that he came to, with a note of any important inci- 
dent of the journey. The diary was only intended as a help to 


his memory, so that he might tell his friends at home all the 
wonderful things that he saw. He first made for Antwerp, where 
art industry was beginning to develop itself, carrying with him a 
good supply of his woodcuts and engravings, for which he hoped 
to obtain a ready market in a city of such reputed wealth. By 
the sale of these he looked forward to defraying the expenses of 
his journey, and to obtaining any introductions which he wanted. 

In passing Bamberg he presented the bishop with a painting of 
The Madonna, a Life of the Virgin^ an Apocalypse, and engrav- 
ings to the value of a gulden, which procured him episcopal 
hospitality, and a 'ZoUbrief,' or letter of exemption from customs 
for his works of art, together with three letters of recommenda- 
tion to some men of influence. All honour was paid him by the 
Bamberg painters. Passing on to Frankfort and throughout the 
bishop's jurisdiction his *Zollbrief' was of the greatest value 
to him. He met his friend Jakob Heller, for whom he had 
painted an Altar-piece, but he makes no mention of the picture, 
only of receiving some wine at his inn from the merchant. 
At Mainz, people strove for the honour of entertaining him, and 
laden with presents he started by the Rhine-boat for Cologne, 
and eventually arrived in Antwerp, and put up at the inn of 
Jobst Plaukfelt, whose portrait in pen-and-ink exists in the 
Stadel Institute at Frankfort, with an inscription in the artist's 

Jobst Plankfelt was a man of importance in Antwerp, and of 
great service to Diirer, who stayed some time, and arranged to 
take his meals with him, leaving his wife and maid to cook 
theirs in their own room for the sake of economy. On the 
evening of his arrival he was entertained " at a costly meal,'* 
by Stecher, the factor of the celebrated merchant house of the 
Fuggers, who were the Eothschilds of that time. The head of 
the house, Anton Fugger, lived in Augsburg in such royal style 
that once when he was entertaining Charles V., to whom he had 
advanced large sums of money, he threw all the bonds which 


the Emperor had given him upon the fire to make a blaze after 
dinner. The Fuggers were however distinguished not only for 
their enormous wealth, but for their employment of it in found- 
ing charitable institutions and schools, and also for their services 
to literature and science, in which many members of the family 
achieved considerable reputation. 

On the next Sunday the painters invited Diirer with his wife 
and maid to a banquet at their Guildhall. Everything there 
excited his admiration, from the costly viands to the silver plate. 
All the wives of his entertainers were present, and the whole 
company received him standing as if he had been a lord. There 
were many people of distinction there who showed him the 
greatest respect, and expressed their anxiety to do him honour. 
The Antwerp Eath sent two servants with tankards of wine as 
a mark of their goodwill and esteem. The feasting was kept 
up far into the night, and at length the guests were escorted 
home with torches. These manifestations, occurring likewise in 
other Ketherland towns, are a proof of the reputation which 
preceded him, and which, together with his personal recommend- 
ations, procured for him patronage and friendship everywhere. He 
was overwhelmed with invitations and presents, which he acknow- 
ledged according to his means. At Antwerp he called upon 
Quinten Matsys, but makes no remark upon his visit; and here 
too he became acquainted with the celebrated Erasmus, who gave 
him presents and allowed him to draw his portrait several times. 
He also took the likeness of the astronomer, Nicolaus Kratzer, 
whom he met at the house of Erasmus, and who was useful 
to him in many ways. He was a native of Munich, but lived 
at the court of Henry VIII. Diirer found many valuable patrons 
among the foreign merchants, and received from the Portu- 
guese consul presents of foreign wines, sweetmeats of all sorts, 
iand some "sugar-cane just as it grows." His principal friend 
was the Genoese Tommaso Bombelli, with whom he constantly 
dined. He was particularly struck with a grand procession on 


the Sunday after the Assumption, when the whole town was 
assembled, every one dressed in the most costly manner. It 
was headed by German pipers and drummers, and consisted of 
representatives of all classes of tradespeople, each with a special 
badge; merchants and shopkeepers, soldiers and civilians, priests 
and scholars, and twenty persons bearing " our Lady with the 
Lord Jesus ornamented in the most splendid manner to the 
honour of the Lord God." Then followed representations of 
characters and scenes from the Old and New Testament, and the 
history of some of the saints, the whole procession occupying 
more than two hours in passing his house. 

On August 20th he went with Bombelli to Brussels, and there 
met with a deputation from his native place, who had been sent 
to Aachen with the imperial crown for the coronation of Charles 
v., which was kept at NUmberg with the other crown jewels. 
The names of these Rathsherren were Ebner, Groland and 
Haller. There was much to interest DUrer in Brussels, especially 
in the Hotel de Ville, which contained four paintings by Eoger 
van der Weyden (these were destroyed during the French siege 
in 1695). His curiosity was excited by "the things which 
people had brought to the king from the golden land" (Mexico); 
a golden sun, a silver moon, two rooms full of armour, and " all 
kinds of wonderful things for man's use, that are as beautiful to 
look at as they are wonderful ... I have never in all my life 
seen anything that hsis pleased me so much as these things, for I 
saw among them wonderful artistic things, and was astonished 
at the subtle ingenia of men in foreign lands, and I don't know 
how to express what I think about them." 

While in this city he was honoured by a summons to the 
presence of the Archduchess Margaret, who was remarkably 
gracious to him, and promised to use her influence on his behalf 
with her nephew Charles. She had inherited a love of art, and 
found, in cultivating her taste for it, some alleviation from the 
monotony of her otherwise cheerless life. 

D F 


On September 2n(i Diirer returned with his friend Bombelli 
to Antwerp. A crowd of artists and other distinguished men 
was assembled there to be present at the State entry of Charles 
V. Here Diirer received the intelligence of the dispersion of 
BaphaeFs works, in consequence of his death in April of this 
year, 1520, from Tommaso Vincitore of Bologna, who had come 
to the Netherlands with an urgent letter from Pope Leo X. to 
superintend the production of the tapestries after Eaphael's 
cartoons. Vincitore, who had been a pupil of Eaphael, pre- 
sented Diirer with a gold antique ring, in return for which Diirer 
gave him all his " best things, worth six gulden." He after- 
wards gave Vincitore a whole set of engravings to be sent to 
Rome in exchange for some of Raphael's works. 

The number of presents of his works which Diirer made 
during this tour is astonishing. Every page of his diary contains 
a note of something which he gave away and the value of it ; 
but the repetition of the things which he received and their 
price, with the return which he made, is too tedious for repro- 
duction in full. Tommaso of Bologna painted Durer*s portrait, 
and an engraving was made from it by Stock in 1629. He has 
on a wide hat and fur mantle. The hair is not so long as it 
appears in the earlier likeness, still it falls luxuriantly on the 
shoulders ; the beard is short, but thick and strong. 

In order to urge the confirmation of his pension Diirer fol- 
lowed the Emperor upon his coronation tour. On October 7th he 
arrived at Aachen, where he again met the " lords of Kiimberg," 
as he calls them, and drew the portraits of Ebner and Groland's 
son. On the 23rd the coronation took place, when he saw " aU 
kinds of costly splendour " past description, such as no one 
living in his part of the country had ever seen. 

But his object was not yet attained, and his Journal con- 
tinues : " I had lodging, and eating, and drinking at Brussels 
with my lords of Niimberg, and they would take nothing for it, 
and I had the same at Aachen. For three weeks I had my 

IN COLN. 67 

meals with them, and they brought me to Coin, and would 
take nothing for that either. I have bought a tract of Luther's 
for five white pfenning. ... I have given two white pfenning 
for the opening of the panel which Maister Steffan of Coin 
had done." This brief remark of DUrer*s has led to the dis- 
covery of the painter of the celebrated Dombild, namely, Stephan 
Lochner, who lived in about the middle of the fifteenth century ; 
it was previously attributed to Meister Wilhelm, the earliest 
painter of the Coin school. 

He goes on : "I have seen the princely ball and banquet given 
to King Charles in the banquet-hall. It was very wonderful. 
I have sketched for Stabius his coat-of-arms on wood. I have 
given a young Count in Coin a Mdancolia, and the Duke 
Frederick the new Madonna. ... On the Monday after Martin- 
mas, in the year 1520, I obtained my Confirmatia from the 
Emperor with great trouble and labour through my lords of 
Numberg." This document is still preserved among the archives 
of Numberg. " I have given Kiclas's daughter (this is his 
cousin Kiclas) seven whjte pfenning as trinkgeld, one florin to 
McWs wife, and also an orth to the daughter as a parting present, 
and then I set out from Coin.'' 

After an absence of seven weeks IHirer returned again to 
Antwerp, and to his old quarters at Plankfelt's. He had scarcely 
arrived when the news came of a whale being cast on shore in 
Zealand, which he at once hurried off to see. At Bergen-op- 
Zoom he bought the Flemish head-dress in which his wife 
appears in the HuUoi portrait, the one with the inscription : 
" This was taken by Albrecht Diirer from his wife at Anttorff 
(Antwerp) in ^Netherlands' -costume in 1521, after they had been 
married twenty-seven years." Age had made her a stout, 
matronly person. 

On this voyage he had .a very narrow escape, which he 
describes with great minuteness. They were landing at a small 
town called Armuyden on the island of Walcheren, and he says : 

F 2 


" When we were just going to land and had thrown out our rope, 
a large ship that was near came against us. We were just landing, 
and in the confusion I let every one get ashore before me, until 
there was no one but myself, Georg Kotzler, two old women, 
and the Master, with a little lad, remaining in the vessel And 
just as the other ship came upon us, and I, with those named, 
were on the ship and could not get away, the strong rope broke ; 
and added to that there was a great gust of wind which drove 
us hard astern. Then we all cried out for help, but no one 
dared to come. Then the wind carried us out to sea ; the Master 
tore his hair and wept, for all his men had landed and the 
vessel was unmanned. There was anxiety and distress, for the 
wind was high, and there were not more than six people on 
board. Then I spoke to the Master and told him to keep up his 
spirits, put his trust in God, and think what was best to do. 
He said if he could hoist the small sail he would try if he could 
not get to land. So then we all helped together, got it up, and 
again moved on. And when the men ashore, who had already 
given us up, saw how we helped ourselves, they came to our 
assistance and we got to land." When DUrer got to his journey's 
end he was disappointed, for the whale had been washed away, 
and he had to return to Antwerp bearing with him the seeds of 
the disease which was eventually to carry him oflF. To make up 
for his disappointment he received some additions to his store of 
curiosities, in the shape of fish-scales, snail-shells, and coral from 
one Lazarus Eavensburger, whose portrait he painted. 

On Carnival Sunday the goldsmiths invited him and his wife 
to a banquet. There was an assembly of distinguished people, 
and Diirer was treated with much respect and honour. He was 
likewise entertained by the chief magistrate of the place, and he 
assisted at the Carnival festivities. 

A proof of the esteem in which his work was held is furnished 
by a commission which he received from the wealthy Meersche 
Guild. They wanted a cloth for the altar of their patron saint, 


which was to be the most beautiful in the Cathedral. Designs 
were furnished by other artists, but Diirer's was accepted. 

During his residence in Antwerp he was far from idle, and 
occupied himself with small pictures for presents, none of which, 
strangely enough, seem to be in existence now. Several paint- 
ings, too, he executed, and mentions " a good Veronica," which 
he did in oils, and presented to Francisco of Portugal, and also 
another, " better than the first,*' for Factor Brandan, a Portuguese 
also, who gave him *' two white sugar-loaves, a dish full of sugar- 
candy, two green pots of preserved sugar, and some black 
satin." Of the portraits which he did at Antwerp one at least 
remains, which he mentions early in 1521 : "I have taken in oils 
Bernhard von Ressen ; he gave me eight gulden for it, my wife 
a crown, and Susanna a gulden." 

He drew innumerable likenesses in pencil, on separate pages 
of his sketch-book, and also made several studies from the life ; 
one of an old man, above which he has written, " This man was 
ninety-three years old, and still in good healtL" It is probably 
the sketch for the celebrated drawing in the Albertina Collection. 
His work was not all profitless, however, for as the circle of his 
friends enlarged so the sale of his productions increased, and if 
he did make presents he was disappointed if he did not receive 
an adequate return for them. 

As spring came on he began to think of home, and prepared 
a number of gifts, the list of which is interesting, as it shows 
that his friends in Kiimberg were all people of importance, and 
moreover that he was on very intimate terms with them. There 
were pieces of lace for " Caspar NUtzers wife," some for " Hans 
Imhof's wife, to Strauber's wife two, to Spengler's wife and to 
Loflfelholz's wife." He bought a pair of gloves too for each 
of them, and gave to Pirkheimer " a large cap, and other pre- 
sents," appropriate gifts to the husbands of the ladies mentioned 
above, and an exceedingly large horn to Hieronymus Andreae. 
He despatched a large bale of valuable things to the care of 


Hans Imhof, and then set ofiF for a hasty visit to the old art 
cities, Bruges and Ghent, in company with Jan Proost, whom 
he calls Ploos, the painter of the Last Judgment in the Assize 
Hall in the former city. Proost took him home with him and 
entertained him hospitably, and had a number of people to meet 
him. Another day he was the guest of the goldsmiths, who 
took him to see the old residence of the dukes of Burgundy, 
where he saw " the chapel painted by Eudiger (Eoger van der 
Weyden) and pictures by a great old master." Then they took 
him to St. James's Church, where he saw more paintings by Roger 
and by Hugo van der Goes — " they were both great masters." 
After that he saw the alabaster Madonna of Michelangelo. It 
is remarkable that he makes no mention of Memling's pictures 
which are side by side with Jan van Eyck's in the hospital of 
St. John, and still more strange as there is a Memling Madonna 
on a leaf of his sketch-book, now in the Hall of Arts in Bremen. 
Of all the treasures which Diirer saw in the Painter's Chapel, 
there only remains Van Eyck's portrait of his wife. ** Then," he 
says, " they prepared a banquet for me, and I went with them 
to their guild-chamber. There had met together several honour- 
able people, merchants as well as goldsmiths and painters. I 
must sup with them, and they made me presents, sought to make 
my acquaintance and did me much honour. And two brothers, 
aldermen, presented me with twelve measures of wine, and the 
whole company, more than sixty persons, escorted me home with 

He was received with the same distinction in Ghent. The 
Decanus, the president of the Painters' Guild, with all the prin- 
cipal artists of the town, met him and received him nobly, never 
leaving him during the whole time of his stay in that city. 
They took him up to the top of the belfry-tower, and then to 
see the great Van Eyck altar-piece, The Adoration of the Lamh, 
He specially admired the figures of Eve^ of the Blessed Virgin^ 
and of God the Father, which are the work of Huibrecht van 


Eyck. He saw the lAonSy too, and made a drawing of one, which 
has been engraved by Hollar, and is now in the Albertina Gallery. 

Early in April he returned to Antwerp. He speaks of his 
acquaintance with Joachim Patenir and calls him '* the good 
landscape painter." He painted his portrait several times ; one 
excellent likeness dated 1521 is in the Weimar Museum. He 
was an honoured guest at Patenir*s wedding-feast. Farther in 
his Journal he notes : " I have heightened four ^S^. ChrisUfphers 
on grey paper for Maister Joachim. ... I have taken the por- 
trait of an English nobleman in charcoal ; he has given me a 
gulden for it, which I have changed for living expenses. Item, 
Maister Gerhard, the illuminist, has a daughter eighteen years 
old called Susanna, and she has illuminated a plate, A Saviour, 
for which I gave one gulden. It is wonderful for a woman to 
do so well." These were the Horebouts, who afterwards were 
distinguished for their illuminations at the Court of Henry 
VIII. of England. 

" I have sketched some Flemish costumes. ... I have done 
the Englishman's coat-of-arms for him in colours, for which he 
has paid me a gulden. ... I have over and over again done 
sketches and many other things for diflferent people, and for 
most of my work I have received nothing at all. I saw the 
great procession which took place in Antwerp on Corpus Chiisti. 
... To the monk who confesses my wife I have given eight 
stiver. . . . On Wednesday after Corpus Christi I gave up my 
great bales at Antwerp to a waggoner to be taken to Niimberg, 
and he is to be responsible to Hans Imhof for them." 

Eight days after the festival he went to Mechlin to see the 
Lady Margaret. The painters and scidptors entertained him, 
did him great honour, but the archduchess dismissed him un- 
graciously after showing him " all her beautiful things ; " amongst 
them some paintings of Jan van Eyck and Jakob Walch. 

On his return to Antwerp there is an entry referring to Lucas 
van Leyden. "Maister Lucas, who engraves in copper, has 


invited me; he is a little man, and was bom in Leyden ;" and 
another to the effect that in all his transactions in the !N'ether- 
lands with people high and low, and in all his bargains and 
sales, in all his doing and living he had come oflf the worst, and 
he was particularly unfortunate in his relations with the Lady 
Margaret, who gave him nothing at all for all he gave her, and 
all that he did for her. 

He was just starting away from Antwerp on the second of 
July, when Christian II., called the Bad, King of Denmark, 
sent for him in haste to come and take his portrait. Christian 
had come to visit his brother-in-law, Charles V. He was in the 
eyes of the Antwerp people a marvel of manliness and valour. 
He was very gracious to DUrer, and had him to dine with him. 
By the wish of the king, the artist followed him to Brussels and 
was a witness of the splendid reception which the Emperor and 
the Eegent Margaret gave him, and was himself a guest at the 
banquet which Christian gave to his royal relatives. 

At length, on the twelfth of July, 1521, DUrer set out from 
Brussels on his journey homewards. With his arrival at Coin 
the journal comes to an end. From his manner of living in 
Antwerp, his liberality with his works, and the numberless pre- 
sents which he made, we are not unprepared to find that he was 
obliged to draw upon Hans Imhof for an increase of his liability, 
which he promised to discharge with thanks in Nurnberg. 

We possess a portrait by Diirer of the date 1521, painted in 
oil on wood, which is one of the most beautiful of his known 
portraits. It is in the Madrid Museum — the bust of a stout 
man in a black dress, edged with fur, and wearing a hat with 
broad brim. It is evidently not done with foreign colours nor in 
haste, but is the result of quiet work in KUrnberg, no doubt 
after his return home. There is a strong similarity in position, 
dress, and the occupation of the hands between this and an 
engraving of Hans Imhof, so that it is possible this may be a 
portrait of Diirer's honoured friend and banker. 




THE evidence wliidi Durer's list of presents affords us of 
his intimate relation witli people of eminence in Ifiim- 
berg is interesting, inasmuch as it throns light upon his pre- 
dilections for the reformed doofiines which were rapidly gaining 
ground in the city, as it also reveals the social position which he 
enjoyed. Yet the love of this true child of Sumberg — evidenced 
by his refusal, first of a lucrative offer from Venice, where he 
had lived the life of a gentleroan, and secondly, from the city of 
Antwerp, where he had been received with so mnch honour — 
was but imperfectly reciprocated. In 1524 he wrote a touching 
letter to the Bath, urging them to grant him a yearly interest 
of 50 gulden upon 1000 which he had earned by " long years of 
work and extraordinary labour," so that he and his wife, who 
were beginning to fed the inconvenience which increase of 
years and toil bring with them, might have a moderate pro- 
vision gainst want. During thirty years' residence this was all 
that he had saved. He had not received more than 500 gulden 
for work in his native town, and " not a fifth part of this was 
profit." What he possessed and had expended there he had 


earned " from princes and foreigners." He had declined all 
emoluments out of love for his town and Fatherland, and " chose 
to live in a moderate manner in Numberg " rather than **' to be 
rich and great in any other place." The most beautiful of his 
emblematic designs had been the arms of the city supported by 
two angels, with the national arms above a double eagle sur- 
mounted by the Imperial Crown. Figures of Justice and 
Abundance adorn the upper part, with an inscription — " Sanda 
Justicia,^* 1521. The wood-cut appears in the title-page of the 
* Reform of the Town of NiLrnberg,' a book of laws which was 
published in that year, and merited the patronage of S. Justicia. 
He had moreover exhibited his devotion to S. Sebald, the Niim- 
berg tutelary saint, in one of his finest wood-cuts, in 1518. 

Still, if he lacked substantial possessions, he enjoyed all else 
which the city had to offer to him. He was admitted to the 
most intellectual and distinguished society, and the intimate 
companionship of the wealthiest burghers. He could reckon as 
a well-tried friend, the playfellow of his infancy, Wilibald 
Pirkheimer, the principal man in the State. The very diversities 
of their natures seem to have attracted them mutually. The 
pompous and headstrong scholar felt the gentle influence of the 
contemplative painter, while he accorded to him that amount of 
patronage and aid which elevated him into the higher regions of 
the nation's intellectual life. Another important ally of Diirer's, 
who lived near him, was the Niirnberg Reformer Spengler, one 
of the directing powers of the city. When Spengler brought 
out his translation of S. Jerome's life, Diirer adorned it with the 
charming wood-cut of the saint, and received as compensation 
the dedication of Spengler's 'Exhortation and Direction ta 
Virtuous Conduct,' as his "particular, trusty, and brotherly 
friend." Spengler assures him, that " he knew him to be, with- 
out flattery, a man of intelligence, and disposed towards honesty 
and virtue, who in their daily and intimate companionship had 
often been to him in no small degree an incentive and a pattern." 


He begs him to amend the work according to his judgment, and 
to consider him as ever " his friend and brother." 

Pirkheimer's literary and scientific work often required the 
help of art, and Dtlrer was at hand to supply it. He provided 
many of his books with ornamental designs, and when, in 1525, 
the translation of Ptolemaeus appeared, he furnished those sphere- 
drawings which Tscherte mentions in two letters to Pirkheimer 
as being ** drawn by our friend Albrecht Diirer." 

In 1514 Diirer had commenced a series of apostolic figures, 
which occupied him for ten years, but were never completed, 
though in combination with that other conception of the same 
date, the Four Temperaments , it was the origin of his last and 
greatest work of art. Diirer adopts the received theory respecting 
the Temperam&rits without reserve, and on one occasion explains 
minutely the outward manifestations of their existence and the 
necessity of considering them especially in relation to the suit- 
ability of youths dedicated to the service of art. 

He devoted himself to the investigation and illustration of the 
theory, and the result was the production of those copper- 
engravings which exhibit the fulness of his creative power, 
and the perfection of his skiU, Melencolia; S. Jerome in the 
Cell; Tlie Horseman^ known as Tlie Knight^ Death and the Devil, 
The first two date from 1514, the last 1513, though the 
study for the Knight — the figure and armour of a Niirnberg 
warrior — was made 15 years before, and that for the horse some- 
what later. These leaves from DUrer's art history have chal- 
lenged the admiration of the critic and baffled the investigation 
of the speculative for ages, and are still as hard as ever to read. 
"All that we know is, nothing can be known;'* is not this the 
feeling which possesses the soul of that unsatisfied woman, who 
sits with her cheek resting on her left hand, while the right 
falls upon a closed book hardly retaining its hold of the com- 
pass which has measured out nothing for her] Her hair is 
unbound, though it just keeps up the laurel crown upon her 


brow. Every imaginable implement of art, of lawful and of 
unlawful science, lies about her, — each has been used in vain ; 
the magic crystal has disclosed nothing ; the figures on the wall, 
each row ever exhibiting the mystical number 34, have been 
reckoned over and over again to no purpose ; the heavens show a 
comet and a rainbow, but no more ; the bat which hovers over 
the water holds outstretched a scroll on which is written Melen- 
colia I. By her side there perches upon a grindstone the form 
of a winged child, like a desponding Cupid whose frolics are 
over. Sphinx-like she sits ever, a woman disdaining her woman- 
hood, weighed down with thought, yet restlessly looking into 
the unsolved mysteries of existence, while the great wings which 
she bears seem eager to essay another flight into the darkness of 
the inscrutable. 

The number I. upon the scroll seems to show that this plate 
is the first of the series of the Temperaments which begins with 
Melancholy, and there is little doubt that the beautiful S, 
Jerome in his Chamber is another. The motive of it is calm 
repose and peace obtained by a solitude occupied with holy 
employment. The room is a convent-cell, but appropriately 
furnished and sufficiently lighted. The grand, old man sits at 
one end of the room writing at an oak table. On the wall 
behind him hangs a cardinal's hat by the side of an hour-glass, 
and the white glory beneath brings out the fine head of the 
saint as he writes. Before him at the other end of the table is 
a crucifix, upon which his eye may rest when he looks up from 
his work. In the window-sill is a skulL A huge pimipkin 
with a leaf and stalk breaks the lines of the oaken beams in the 
ceiling. The feeling of repose is increased by the blinking lion 
and a watch-dog stretched out and fast asleep in the foreground. 
There are wooden benches and cushions lying here and there 
upon them, there is a shelf upon one wall for articles of domestic 
use, and a strap nailed up beneath it to hold his papers and a 
pair of scissors. S. Jerome is entirely engrossed in his work — ^a 
type of the Phlegmatic Temperament. 


The third plate, of the same size as the other two, which 
has always been held to be one of Diirer's finest works, is an 
illustration of the tendency of the Grerman mind at this time. 
It is 27ie Knight, Death and the Devil ; it is also called The 
Christian Knight, and The Knight of tJis Reformation, A 
knight is riding alone through a gloomy defile. He is in full 
armour, and bears a lance in his hand. A little in front of 
him on a lame horse goes the grisly form of Death with an 
hour-glass in his hand, the sand almost run out, which he 
holds up in face of the knight. On the other side of the horse- 
man is a horrible fiend, who stretches out his hand ready to 
clutch his prey. But the rider goes straight forward, with a set 
look of determination upon his face, not heeding his unwelcome 
companions. He is ready for combat with any enemy who 
comes direct in his way, but has no eye for those by his side. 
Death cannot daunt him nor Satan lay hold of him as he goes 
right on towards " the prize of his high calling." Some have 
recognized in him Franz von Sickingen, and others the artist's 
friend Stephan Baumgartner, simply because of the letter S. 
which stands before the date, but if we are right in the inter- 
pretation of the other pictures this S. may well stand for San- 
guine (Sanguinicus), as Thausing appropriately suggests. 

It is not difiicult to trace again in this last plate the effect of 
the religious spirit which came over the Humanist society at 
Niimberg under the influence of Lutheran teaching. Among 
the first to declare for the great Eeformer were many of DUrer's 
friends, Pirkheimer, Spengler and others, and with the move- 
ment he himself had the warmest sympathy, though still a 
member of the Eoman Church, and a participator in the benefits 
of her sacraments. In his journal there are several records of 
money paid to his own confessor, and to his wife's. Yet even 
in 1518 Luther had received presents of Diirer's work, which 
he warmly acknowledged, and in the same year Christoph 
Scheurl tells Staupitz of the congregation which enjoyed the 
preaching of "Wenzel Link, mentioning by name Diirer himself 


and many whom we know as his intimate friends, " all longing 
for a greeting from Luther." 

In a letter to Georg Spalatin, chaplain to the Elector Frede- 
rick, at the beginning of 1520, Durer says, " As you mention the 
little book in defence of Martin, you must know that there are 
no more ready, but they are in print at Augsburg. I will send 
you some as soon as they are ready, but this little book, though 
it has been done here, has been decried from the pulpit as 
heretical and fit for the flames." Still more significant of his 
state of mind are the passages in the same letter in which he 
sends his thanks to the Elector for Luther's book which he had 
sent him, and begs his Grace to submit to the teaching of the 
Reformer "for the sake of Christian truth, which is of more 
importance to us than all the riches and power of this world, for 
all that perishes with time, truth alone abides for ever." 

When abroad he was always eager for Luther*s writings, and 
was on intimate terms with the priests of the Augustine monas- 
tery in Antwerp, of which Erasmus writes to Luther : — " Li the 
Antwerp monastery is a prior, a pure Christian, who loves you 
above measure, and was, he says, your pupiL" The prior and 
monks of this monastery were imprisoned in 1522 for dissemin- 
ating reformed doctrines. 

DiLrer's friends Pirkheimer and Spengler, were among the 
boldest to espouse Luther's cause, and consequently among the 
first against whom a blow was struck from Rome. The former 
had been the apologist of Reuchlin, and the latter, in 1519, had 
upheld the Christian character of Luther's teaching against the 
attacks of the Church party. After the dispute between the 
great Reformer and Dr. Eck at Leipzig, Pirkheimer held up the 
champion of the Roman faith to ridicule, and when Eck returned 
hom Rome with the Bull against Luther he had the satisfaction 
of knowing that the names of his two bold supporters were 
inserted in the terrible document. 

Diirer's own confession of faith appears again in those passages 

LUTHER. 4 y 

from his journal which we purposely omitted in their proper 
place in order to insert them here. 

"On the Friday before Whitsuntide (May 17) in the year 
1521, the tidings reached me in Antwerp that Martin Luther 
had been treacherously taken prisoner. For as the herald of the 
Emperor Charles had been added to the Imperial escort con- 
fidence was placed in him. But after the herald had brought 
him to an unfriendly place near Eisenach, he said he required 
him no longer and rode away. Immediately ten horsemen 
appeared, and treacherously carried off the man thus betrayed, 
the pious, the Spirit-enlightened one, the follower of the true 
Christian faith. Does he still live, or have they murdered himi 
This I know not. But he has suffered for the sake of Christian 
truth, and because he has'punished the unchristian papacy, which 
opposes its great burden of human laws to the liberty of Christ ; 
and for this we are robbed of that which our blood and sweat 
has won, that it may be shamefully consumed by idle people, 
while the thirsty and the sick are dying of hunger in conse- 
quence. And especially hard it is to me that God will perhaps 
leave us under their false, blind teaching, which men, whom they 
call Fathers, have invented and set up; whereby the precious 
word of God is in many places falsely explained or not set forth 
at alL Ah ! God in heaven, have mercy upon us ! " and so on 
in the ordinary style of the time ; but we get an insight into the 
life of a soul which dreams of Christian union not even yet 

Farther on in the Journal he bursts forth, " Ah I God, is 
Luther dead ] Who will henceforth expound the Holy Gospel 
to us so plainly ] Ah, God ! what might he not have written 
for us in the next ten or twenty years. Oh ! all good Christian 
men, help me to bewail the God-inspired being, and to pray that 
he will send us another enlightened man. Oh ! Erasmus of 
Rotterdam, where wilt thou tarry] See what unrighteous 
tyranny, the power of the world, the power of darkness, can do ! 


Hear, Christian knight, ride forth with the Lord Jesus, defend 
the right, obtain the martyr's crown ! — thou art abeady an old 
mannikin, and I have heard thee say that thou givest thyself 
only two yeai-s longer in which thou wilt be able to work. 
Dedicate these years to the cause of the Gospel and the true 
Christian Faith." 

Diirer identified in his mind the Reformers with the Human- 
ists. When he was calling upon this little great man of Rotterdam 
to come to the help of Christ, he knew nothing of the divisions 
which were going on, and certainly mistook for a hero the man, 
who two years afterwards at Basle, fearing for his own reputation, 
refused an asylum to "Ulrich von Hutten, when under the ban 
of the Pope — the man whom Luther in his own manner once 
called, " an enemy of all religions." 

At the time of Diirer's return from the Netherlands, the contest 
between the extreme religious parties was not so great. The 
Rath decided in 1524 to establish a High School, and to make 
Melanchthon Rector, but he declined the post and named Joachim 
Cammermeister (or Camerarius) in his stead, though he often came 
to Niimberg to supervise, and was the centre of a pleasant society 
which assembled in the evening, and included such men as Hesse, 
Roting, Spengler, and the priests Venatorius and Wenzel Link. 

A letter from Nicolaus Kratzer shows that Diirer kept up the 
friendships which he made in the Netherlands. In his answer 
to the Astronomer he speaks of two portraits, dated 1524. They 
were masterpieces of art, the likenesses of his oldest patron the 
Elector Frederick, and of Pirkheimer, He has rendered his 
friend immortal in all the greatness of his energy and philosophic 
character before physical pain had damped his ardour, and the 
tumult of Reformation controversy had agitated his mind. He 
had almost withdrawn from society, when in 1524 he dictated 
the inscription for his portrait : vivitur ingenio, ccetera mortis 
erunt. The Humanist in his declining years was troubled with 
a vision of the overthrow of knowledge which was threatened 
by the Reformation, and as a statesman he was terrified by the 


violence and confusion about him which followed upon the 
promulgation of Lutheran doctrine. He felt the eflfects in his 
immediate family, for the convent of which his sisters were at 
the head became a mark for the insults of the citizens. He 
hated such expounders of Church guidance as the preacher 
Osiander, and even his friend Spengler incurred his indignation. 
Thus, gradually, the brilliant and wealthy Pirkheimer assumed 
towards the Reformation the attitude of Erasmus of Rotterdam. 
It is not, however, fair to assume that Dtirer followed blindly in 
the footsteps of his patrician friend. True it was that " they 
were closely united even to being indispensable to each other 
and even unto death," true that DUrer's praise was " like music " 
to the ear of his friend, as Ulrich von Hutten says, yet each was 
too self-sufficient to allow himself to be drawn along helplessly 
by the other. 

Melanchthon, who, when a visitor at Pirkheimer's house, often 
met Diirer and spoke of him as "a wise man, in whom the 
artistic element, prominent as it was, was still the least," throws 
much light upon the mutual relations of the two friends. When 
the scholar, by a pamphlet against QEcolampadius, took part in 
the quarrel about the Lord's Supper, there were often disputes 
between them in which Pirkheimer repeatedly used to retort to 
Diirer's attacks, " That cannot be painted ; " and the artist would 
reply, " And what you say should not be said or even thought." 
If Diirer could not adopt Pirkheimer's opinions, still less could 
he attach himself to the revolutionary party in the city, and he 
must have been deeply moved by the part which was taken by 
three of his best pupils, Georg Pencz, and the brothers Sebald 
and Barthel Beham. These " three godless painters " were 
banished from the city for their dangerous opinions. His wood- 
cutter, too, Andreas, was a source of great trouble to the Rath. 
This man had obtained such celebrity that he adopted the name 
of his calling, " Formschneider," instead of AndreaB.^ 

^ Among Diirer's drawings in the British Museum is a portrait of a 
joung woman, Fronica 1525, Formschneiderin. 

D G 


The terrible eflFect of passing events upon Diirer is evidenced 
by a vision which he had on the 30th of May, 1525, which 
he transferred to paper in watercolours the next morning. The 
sketch is in the Ambras Collection in Vienna. He describes it 
thus : " Immense volumes of water kept on falling from heaven, 
but as the first drops reached the ground, it fell with such force, 
and then came on a wind and a rushing noise, and I was so 
terrified that when I awoke my whole body trembled and for a 
long time I could not come to myself. However, when I arose 
in the morning, I painted it here above as I saw it. May God 
iirect all for the best." 

Between Melanchthon and Diirer there was naturally the 
deepest sympathy. They probably met first in 1518 at Pirk- 
heimer*s house, and the friendship which began then was more 
closely cemented during the reformer's subsequent visits to 
Nurnberg in 1525 or 1526. "We have to thank this friendship 
to which Camerarius was admitted for the most trustworthy 
accounts of Diirer. liUther says of Melanchthon, "Magister 
Philippus goes softly and quietly, builds and plants, sows and 
waters with joy, as God has given him his gifts richly ; " and 
such a man appears in Diirer's portrait of 1526, bareheaded, with 
a lofty brow and gentle smile. The plate bears the inscription : 

Viventis potuit Durerius ora Philippi, 
Mentem non potuit pingere docta manus. 

His feelings while working at the portrait of his friend were 
widely different to those which he felt for Erasmus, whose like- 
ness he engraved on copper in the same year. Diirer had taken 
sketches of him in Brussels in 1520, and in the interval Erasmus 
had repeatedly urged the completion of the picture in letters to 
Pirkheimer, which abounded in praises of the artist, but the 
recollection of the philosopher's features had become faint, so 
that the truthfulness of the likeness is unequal to its merit as a 
work of art. It is half-length, and Erasmus is sitting in a satin 


robe writing at a desk surrounded by ponderous tomes. These 
portraits are the last of Diirer's engravings, but we must mention 
among his latest achievements the celebrated portrait of his 
** single friend *' Ulrich Varenbulery dated 1622, the largest and 
greatest of his wood-cuts in that style. The Imperial Councillor 
was a valued friend of Erasmus and Pirkheimer, and his name 
appears frequently in their letters. There is an inscription by 
Diirer, to the eflfect that he desires to render those whom he 
specially loves famous to posterity. In 1525 he displayed his 
own coat of arms, the same as those which his father bore, in a 
large wood-cut; and probably to 1526 must be assigned the 
likeness of his friend Eohan Hesse, His last religious represent- 
ation in wood-cutting is of the same date, the Holy Family, with 
the children playing m the foreground. In the same year he 
painted the Madonna once more, the picture in the XJfl&zi, in 
which the Virgin holds an apple in her hand, and likewise three 
life-sized portraits, one of Kleherger who afterwards married 
Pirkheimer*s favourite daughter, the widow of Hans Imhof , and 
deserted her, but who subsequently merited the name of " bon 
Allemand," and a statue in Lyons. The second portrait was 
that of Jdkoh Mitssel, and the third that grand portrait of 
Hieronymus Holtzschuher which is still in possession of the 
family in Niimberg, one of the most valuable memorials of the 
artist's power. It is now, on loan, in the Germanic Museum. 

Now towards the close of his art-life he seems to have been 
possessed with that desire to perpetuate the recollection of his 
friends before his hand had lost its cunning, but there was yet 
another ambition, to bequeath to his native city a memorial of 
his genius and of his faith. The thought of the Four Apostles 
or Four Temperaments had been growing in his mind for ten 
years, and at last revealed itseK in those two panels in Munich 
which display the perfection of art. His studies for this picture 
had been his great delight; witness the water-colour sketches 
of /SL Philip and S, James in the Ufifizi, the S. Mark in the 

G 2 


Hullot collection, and the S. Peter in the marvellous pencil- 
drawing in the Albertina Grallery. Each of the panels is occupied 
by the full-length figure of an apostle and his companion. Diirer 
took the greatest pains with the drapery, for no artist ever knew 
better how much the character of a figure may be indebted to 
the fold of a garment. 

It is a contemporary of the artist and a man who personally 
knew him, Johann Neudcirffer, who first mentions that the four 
figures meant the four temperaments — S. John the type of the 
Melancholic, and S. Peter of the Phlegmatic, occupying the one 
panel ; S. Paul, type of the Choleric, and S. Mark of the Sanguine, 
occupying the other. It is worthy of remark that the prominent 
figures in either panel are S. John and S. PauL The beloved 
disciple is lost in contemplation, not looking into the open Bible, 
which he holds in his hand ; but S. Peter bends forward as if 
with the desire to read. There is said to be in the S. John a 
likeness to Melanchthon. 

On the other half is depicted Diirer's special hero, the apostle 
to the Gentiles, one of those figures so grand as only to bear 
comparison with the artist's idea of the Christ. He is the 
warrior ready for battle, the man whose seK no longer exists, 
but the Christ lives in him and fiUs his whole being, whose 
whole energy is devoted to the task of apprehending Him by 
whom he is apprehended. That there might be no mistake as to 
the meaning of his paintings, Diirer appended texts from the 
writings of each of the apostles with an introduction of warning : 
" All temporal rulers in these perilous times must take care not 
to accept human misleading for the Divine word, for God will 
have nothing added to His word or taken away. Then listen to 
the warnings from these four excellent men, Peter, John, Paul, 
and Mark." The texts refer to false prophets, and perilous times, 
to Antichrist, and those who " were ever learning but never able 
to come to a knowledge of the truth,'* to the men who " devour 
widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers." Here is 


In the Finaiothtk, Munkli. 


a distinct protest against the new sects, the Anabaptists and 
Deists, which Diirer puts in the mouths of the more contem- 
plative of the apostles, while the men of energy are ready to do 
battle with older enemies, the followers of a world philosophy, 
and with immoral priests. 

Diirer placed this distinct warning under each picture because 
he intended the panels to remain for ever in his native town. 
In the autumn of 1526 he sent them to the Rath with a letter, 
saying that he had long wished to send some painting of small 
merit as a remembrance, but that he had been deterred from 
doing so from the " defects of his works," for he knew that he 
should not appear with credit before them. " But as I have 
during this past time painted a panel, and have been more 
diligent over it than over other paintings, I consider no one 
more worthy of receiving it than your honours." 

The Rath accepted his pictures, and presented him with 100 
gulden. For a century they remained in the Rathhaus till the 
Elector Maximilian coveted them too eagerly. Copies of them 
• were made by Georg Gartner so good that when they were sent 
to Maximilian, it was hoped that he would choose them instead 
of the damaged originals, to which also were affixed the inscrip- 
tions so distasteful to the priests at Munich. 

Maximilian, however, chose the genuine paintings, but cut off 
the inscriptions and sent them back with the copies to Niirnberg 
where they still hang in the Rathhaus. 





THE later part of Diirer'a life was full of the vearineas 
which continued sickness causes. Though nover apparently 
a strong man, and ever liable to attacks of illness, he vas unspar- * 
ing of himself, and his constitution was no doubt impaired by the 
extraordinary demands which be made upon his powers. It was, 
however, the Netherlands journey which permanently destroyed 
bis health, and laid the seeds of disease which carried him off 
prematurely. We call to mind the hardships, the exposure and 
the fatigue of his joomeyinge, the irregularity of the life which 
he led, and the excesses to which, almost despite himself, he gave 
way iu ac«epting,the hospitality which was offered to him. The 
costly feasts and the tankards of wine, so frequently mentioned 
in the Journal, could not have been good for a man of such a 
delicate oi^auization. His first serious illness happened during 
that dangerous Zealand journey in search of the whale, and when 
at Ghent he notes : "In the third week after Eastei a hot fever 
attacked me, accompanied with feintness, and uncomfortable feel- 
ings and headache. And when I vas in Zealand, some time 

DEATH. 87 

back, I was overtaken by an extraordinary illness, the like of 
which I have never heard of from any one, and this illness I have 

There is a coloured sketch of himself by his own hand in the 
Hall of Arts at Bremen, half -naked, and the right hand pointing to 
a roAnd, yellow spot on his left side. Above he has written the 
words, " Where the yellow spot is on which I put my finger, there 
it pains me," no doubt for a consultation with hisdocto;: by writing. 

Diirer's illness did not entirely keep him from work, till just 
before his death ; but he was obliged to abstain in part from 
social intercourse which involved indulgence in eating and 
drinking, too common at that time in Numberg, especially at the 
house of such a man as Pirkheimer. We get an idea of his 
emaciated appearance from a large profile portrait which was pub- 
lished after his death in a woodcut (1528). It is the portrait of 
the master at 56, prematurely aged, and much changed. The nose 
and cheek-bones are strikingly prominent, the hair and beard no 
longer retaining their luxuriance, the fine head of former years 
is bent forward, and exhibits little sign of the power which has 
departed. The likeness is that of a feeble, worn-out man, sinking 
into his grave before his time. The sketch was no doubt taken 
after his death, and probably from a cast, for, according to an 
existing manuscript in the Numberg Museum, his grave was 
opened by some artists the day after his burial in order that a 
cast of the face might be taken. 

1^0 record of his last moments has come to us from any one 
who was present ; but we remember the prayer which he uttered 
at the time of his mother's death, — " The Lord God grant that I 
also may have a happy end, and that God, with His heavenly 
host, my father, mother and friends, wiU be present at my 
death," and we feel sure that his prayer was granted. He died in 
Passion- week, on the 6th of April, 1528, in his 57th year, and 
was buried in the vault of the Frey family, in the quiet cemetery 
of S. John outside the 'city walls. The simple inscription upon 


his tombstone was placed there by Pirkheimer, who, a few years 
afterwards, was laid to rest in a grave almost by the side of his 
friend " even unto death." 

ME . AL . DU 





He died so suddenly and unexpectedly, that not even Pirk- 
heimer had time to hasten as he would have done to his bedside, 
for " that tender farewell on the shore of this rude world," and 
bitterly he bewails it — " Thou who for so many years wast so 
closely united to me, Albrecht, my souFs better part, with whom 
I enjoyed dear discourse, who didst treasure my words in a faith- 
ful bosom ! Why, unhappy one, didst thou hurry away with 
swift, never-returning step. I was not allowed to touch the 
dear head, to clasp the hand, or say a last farewell to the de- 
parting one, for scarcely hadst thou entrusted thy weary limbs 
to thy bed, than death snatched thee away in haste." 

There is preserved in Niirnberg a skull, which was found 
early in the present century, and believed, but on no reliable 
ground, to be Albrecht's; for when the Prey famOy became ex- 
tinct the vault was at the disposal of the hospital, and received 
several inmates, till Joachim Sandrart bought it in 1681, and 
decked it with an inscription, intended to be a contribution to 
the glory of Diirer, bequeathed it to the Academy which he 
founded, and it became a resting-place for foreign artists. There 
is, however, a sacred relic in Vienna, the wrapper of which at 
least is genuine, for it has the signature of each successive 


owner. It is said to be the lock of hair which was cut off after 
Diirer's death and given to his friend Baldung. 

The testimony of men whose names are known to fame, to the 
universal regret which the death of Durer caused, makes his 
historical position undeniable. 

" You may count him happy," says Luther, " that Christ so 
enlightened him and took him in good time from stormy scenes, 
destined to become still stormier, so that he who was worthy of 
seeing only the best should not be compelled to experience the 
worst. So may he rest in peace with his fathers. Amen." 
Melanchthon would not at first believe the sad news, and when 
he was able to doubt no longer, he could only say to Camerarius, 
" It grieves me to see Germany deprived of such an artist and 
such a man." On the other hand, Erasmus, in a letter to 
Pirkheimer, contents himself with such words as these — "What is 
the use of lamenting Durer^s death, since we are all mortal? 
There is a memorial to him existing in my little book ; " and then, 
after immortalizing him in this way, proceeds with some amusing 
reports which were being circulated. His indifference is in 
marked opposition to the manner in which Pirkheimer had 
poured out his heart to him in the midst of the desolation 
which the loss of his friend had created. Camerarius says of Durer 
in the Preface to the * Lessons in Proportion,' which has been 
mentioned before; "If there were in this man anything ap- 
proaching to a fault, it was simply the endless industry and the 
self-criticism which he indulged in, often even to injustice." 

When death found DUrer he was occupied no longer in the 
production of art results, but in a search after its fundamental 
principles, by which means he hoped to render his last days 
serviceable to his country and to posterity. To this end he 
devoted himself to collecting and publishing the thoughts which 
had been growing from his childhood, and the lessons which 
careful study and long experience had taught him. "An 
unlearned man is like an unpolished mirror," he once said to 


Melanclitlioii ; and he has left abundant evidence that he spared 
no pains to keep his brightness untarnished. It was not in his 
later years alone that he began his theoretical studies. As far 
back as the year 1500, we may remember that he was interested 
in this subject when he speaks of the information which he had 
obtained from a certain Jacopo. 

The first book which he published was the * Instruction in 
Mensuration, with compass and rule in lines, planes and solids, 
compiled by Albrecht Diirer, and printed, with illustrations, for 
the use of all lovers of art, in the year 1525.' It consists of a 
course of lectures in geometry as an appendix to Euclid's Elements. 
He explains in the preface that those who understand Euclid had 
no need of "the following written things," for they are only 
written for the young and those who had no one to instruct them 
carefully. Many young painters, he remarks in the dedication, 
grow up without a knowledge of the art of mensuration, though it 
is " the true foundation of aU painting." He illustrated this book 
richly with wood-cuts, for he said, " Anything which you see is 
more credible than what you hear ; but when it is both seen and 
heard, we comprehend it more perfectly, and it remains with us 
more durably ; therefore I will construct the work so that people 
may be able so much the better to keep it in memory." In it he 
describes an instrument which he invented for taking portraits 
by rule, to assist those who were not sure of the accuracy of their 
drawings. In 1538 a second edition was printed, with additional 
wood-cuts from Diirer' s collection, and several editions of the 
Latin translation have appeared. In 1527 Diirer appears, like 
Leonardo, as a writer upon the art of fortification in his book en- 
titled * Instructions in Fortifying Cities, Castles and Towns.' It 
is dedicated to Ferdinand I., from whose grandfather Maximilian 
he received so many marks of favour. The work is divided into 
six parts. The first three contain plans for building bastions, the 
fourth treats of castles, the fifth of forts to command a Pass, the 
sixth exhibits the method of rendering open towns secure. The 


work is adorned with excellent wood-cuts, among which, on the 
title-page, appears the arms of King Ferdinand. His theories were 
by no means universally accepted by his contemporaries, though 
here and there were found supporters. Some of the fortifications 
of Strasburg were built according to his instructions, and the 
celebrated architect, Daniel Specklin, adopted his ideas, and 
made them the basis of a system of fortifications which has been 
more or less recognized by all German engineers. A Latin 
translation of his book by Camerarius appeared in Paris in 
1535, a copy of the original in 1603 at Amheim. In 1823 an 
edition, with valuable commentary, was published in Berlin, and a 
splendid book, a translation into French, appeared in Paris* in 
1870. At the same time he executed the wonderful wood-cut 
which is sometimes called, without regard to chronology, Durer^a 
Vienna. It represents a view of a fortified town, which is being 
besieged, and, apart from its value as a work of art, must be 
taken with his book as illustrative of his theory. 

The above are the only two out of 150 books or pamphlets 
which Camerarius assures us Diirer wrote, and which were fully 
prepared during his life-time. 

A work on the art of Fencing has come to light in late years, 
containing a series of sketches illustrating various attitudes and 
positions, together with a code of laws to be adopted by those 
who cultivated the arts of fencing and wrestling. 

The work of the greatest importance, and the one which had 
occupied his mind for many years, seems to have been inspired 
by Pirkheimer, to whom it was dedicated. The title of it runs 
thus : — " Herein are contained four books of Human Propor- 
tion, invented and described by Albrecht Diirer of Niirnberg, 
for the use of aU who love this art." MDXXVIII. The 
author only lived to see the first book in the press, and the 
inscription on the manuscript in the Dresden Library, " 1523, 
at Niirnberg, this is Albrecht Diirer's first book, which he 
himself has made," is a proof that it was written earlier than 


the other books; and some of the sketches for it date back even 
to 1500. 

The entire work was published after his death, under the 
editorship of Pirkheimer. DUrer appears to adopt two separate 
systems in measuriDg the human body. The one was by division 
of the whole length of the body into certain fractional parts, the 
other by a scale of 600 parts, similar to that employed by Leo 
Battista Alberti, whose manuscript work DUrer is said to have 
seen in Venice. In the third he altered, according to fixed 
rules, the measurements which he had obtained from experi- 
ment ; and by increasing or diminishing certain of the propor- 
tions he obtained ludicrous figures, which were thinner or stouter 
than they should naturally have been. These alterations he 
classified and arranged in pairs, — ^great and small, young and 
old, fat and thin, — and calls these epithets " expressions of dis- 
tinction." In the fourth book he treats of the difiFerent move- 
ments of the limbs and of the principles of fore-shortening. 

Diirer contents himself solely with that which is outwardly 
manifest, and refrains from entering upon the wonderful con- 
struction of the limbs and joints, and the arrangements for their 
motion, because " this is known to those who study anatomy, and 
I will let them tell about it." 

The work which Hogarth alludes to in his 'Analysis of 
Beauty * as calculated to puzzle the man who attempts to follow 
the elaborate rules laid down, is still of value to those who have 
the patience to read it. That it was appreciated in its day is 
shown by the numerous editions and translations which appeared. 
The Latin one by Camerarius (1532-34) is most interesting from 
the biographical sketch contained in the preface, from which 
we have made extracts, and which was translated into Italian and 
Spanish. A French translation appeared in Paris (1557), and 
Dutch translations in 1622 and 1662, and a curious English 
version in London (1666) called * A. DUrer revived : or a book 
of Drawing, Washing, or Colouring of Mapps or Prints.' 


For some time Diirer had entertained the idea of a large 
encyclopaedic work, which should be a sort of complete art- 
educator. The two books which we have mentioned are really 
fragments of it. The work was to be entitled * Food for Young 
Painters.' The materials for it he was collectiug in 1512 and 
1513, or even earlier, and he proposes to treat of the "propor- 
tions of man, of the proportions of horses, of the proportions of 
buildings, of perspective, of light and shade, and of the colours" 
such as nature employs. In his preface he says, " By the help 
and grace of God for the use of all little ones, who are willing to 
learn what they must do, all that which I by my experience 
have found to be of use to painters," and so on. Doubtless this 
was the great scheme which he had in view, and partly completed^ 
and among his papers are numerous notes of sketches for all that 
he proposed to accomplish. ^ 

He made careful studies too in the proportions of the horse, 
as we can judge from the origin of the celebrated Knight ; and 
from Camerarius's preface we learn that Diirer had commenced a 
treatise upon the subject, but that it was lost through the faith- 
lessness of certain people, and that he did not care to write it 
again. Durer knew well who these people were, but for peace 
sake he would not proceed against them. The suspected men 
were Sebald Beham and Andrese, and evil reports of them 
became current directly after the master's death. The latter 
misused the power entrusted to him in the printing of the work ; 
and when it became known that, in conjunction with Beham, he 
would also publish a work upon " Proportion," the Rath forbad 
its publication, "on peril of life and property," until DUrer's 
work was completed. Beham accordingly produced only a little 
work upon the proportions of the horse in 1528, which he 
judiciously altered so that it should not betray its origin ; and 
aho in the treatise, which he published in 1546, upon human 
proportions he is careful to avoid all the suspicions of DUrer's 
friends to which he and Andrew had laid themselves open. 


The greater part of the manuscript of this work is in the 
British Museum, along with other volumes of Diirer's writings, 
notes and sketches upon a variety of subjects — ^writings which 
are interesting in their relation to his productions. This indeed 
is the character of all writing from his hand which has come 
down to us in its disconnected form, all full of that interest 
which must attach to a figure of such distinct historical import- 
ance. His life is revealed to us by the flashes of mental and 
spiritual light which was ever shooting forth in the midst of 
his labour. His thoughts are rather suggestions for an art 
system than the system itself; they are springs from an inner 
foimtain, supplied from the source of all that is highest and 
noblest in man, — gleams of light which flash only upon the soul 
that is ever turning towards its God. 

With a profound veneration ^f or the art and wisdom of the 
ancients, he regrets the period of decline, and hails all the efforts 
which were made for their revival. " In what honour and dignity 
this art was held by the Greeks and Eomans is satisfactorily 
proved by ancient writings, although in course of time it was 
lost and hidden for over a thousand years, and only two hundred 
years ago again brought to light by the Italians." These words 
occur in his dedication of the mensuration book ; and again in 
1513 he writes, "The great art of painting was held in high 
respect by the powerful kings of many hundred years ago ; for 
they conferred wealth upon their artists who excelled, and held 
them in high esteem, for they thought that their wealth of fancy 
was an endowment common to them and God. For a good 
painter is within full of forms, and if it were possible that he 
could live for ever, he would have, from his innermost ideas, of 
which Plato writes, at aU times something new to pour forth 
through his works." 

But it was from nature, that Diirer sought the fountains of 
the beautiful, and the limits which she set he would have no 
one overstep. " Let every one take care to make nothing which 


is impossible to nature and which she would not endure. If all 
beauty is enclosed in nature, the greatest difficulty is for human 
power to recognize it and to reproduce it in a picture, for it is 
no small art to make different human shapes ; the stubborn will 
of itself entwines itself into our work. To make a beautiful 
picture, you must not take from one man alone, for no man 
lives on earth who possesses all that is beautiful; he might 
always be much more beautiful. Also, there lives no man on 
earth who can say conclusively what the most beautiful form gf 
human being should be like. "No one knows that but God 
alone ; '' and later on he adds, ^^ To whom He has manifested it, 
he will know it," 

But DUrer will only allow to exceptional men the power to 
form an aesthetic judgment, which he in itself regards as a 
special gift, requiring to be cultivated by reference to the observ- 
ations of others. " Let no one trust himself too much, for the 
many see more than one, possible as it may be that for once one 
man sees more than a thousand ; still it rarely occurs." " One 
often searches through two or three hundred people, and hardly 
finds two or three things in them which can be used. Therefore, 
if you want to make a good picture, you must take from several 
the head, from others the arms, hands," and so on. 

Very early in the sixteenth century Diirer had grasped the true 
idea of beauty, beyond which it was impossible for him to go ; so 
that in this respect his speculations made no advance, nor could 
years of reflection present to his mind anything superior. He 
argues then, that the growth of a nation'&art is like its system of 
laws, which developes as circumstances create necessity for fresh 
legislation, or as new light dawns upon specially gifted minds. 
Just as the idea of the good is gradually revealed and matured, 
so also the conception of the beautiful is not a revelation to a 
single individual mind, but the result of a succession of re- 
velations to men endued with energy of soul, communicated 
either to many, or, as is rarely the case, apprehended in all its 


perfection by a solitary genius. Sucli a genius was Diirer himself. 
Yet with all his delight in speculation, and with his marvellous 
creative power, the simplicity and freedom both of his thoughts 
and of his works were constantly increasing during his later years. 
Melanchthon, in one of his letters to Camerarius, says, that he 
remembers how conscious Durer himself was of this. In his 
youth he says he was fond of a florid style and variety of colour, 
and found an unfailing pleasure in this diversity ; but in his 
mature years he recognized that simplicity was the perfection of 
art. It is curious to compare the perfect harmony of colour and 
simple greatness of his works when, abandoning theory and 
imitation, he puts himself into competition with nature, and gives 
utterance to such thoughts as these : " The life in nature makes 
known the truth of all these things ; therefore gaze upon her 
intently, and do not deviate from her to follow your own opinion, 
as if you could imagine that you could find out better for your- 
self, for you would be misled. For truly art lies in nature ; and 
he who can draw her out obtains her, and once obtained she 
will move many defects from your works. . . . The more exactly 
your work is conformable to life, so much the better will it 
seem. And this is true : therefore never imagine that you can 
do, or desire to do, something better than what God has given his 
created being the power to do, for his capacity is powerless 
against the creative power of God. So it is decreed, that no 
human being can, of his own* imagination, even make a beautiful 
picture, and so he must fiU his mind full of beauty by many 
an imitation ; and then it is no more called his own, but has 
become art, which has been mastered and acquired, which sows 
itself, grows, and brings forth fruit of its kind. Thereupon the 
collected and secret treasure of the heart becomes manifest through 
the work, and the new creature which is created in the heart is 
the form of a thing." 

No artist, save only Michelangelo, has given utterance to 
thoughts more beautiful than these in reference to the power 

Christ driving; uut the Muney-chaneers. 

from iht " Little Passion. " Fritiledfrom a cast of thi origiiuU 

tuaad-lilork in tki British Maseum, 


with which he feels himself endowed — a power which he 
humbly and yet proudly recognizes as something akin to Divine 
inspiration. His marvellous knowledge of forms was to him 
a "secret treasure of the heart," and the figures which he 
produces in such abundance are " new creatures," conceived in 
his own mind, products of a seed divinely sowed, not mere 
copies of shapes which have been presented to his eye and per-; 
feeted by his skill. Hence he goes on to say, that an expert 
artist does not need to make special studies for each individual 
picture, "for he can pour out sufficiently what he has been 
collecting within himself from the outside ; such an one can 
fashion well in his own works, but very few arrive at such an 

These words are in perfect harmony with the productions of his 
later years. While he sees in the work of his art life a reflect 
tion of the power of God, which exalts his calling, he discovers 
in it only grounds for personal humility. He was as dissatisfied 
with the completeness of his theories as he was with that of 
his productions, and had always before his mind, and in his 
dreams, more beautiful pictures than he was ever able to execute. 
" Ah ! how often," he exclaims, " do I see in my sleep great art 
and good things, the like of which do not come to me when 
awake; for when I awake my remembrance of them is goue.'^ 
Still he was not discouraged in his search after truth, though 
conscious that, with our limited understanding, we can never 
come to a full knowledge of it ; "if we cannot attain the very 
best, are we to leave off studying 1 We will not accept that 
brutish idea, for men have the bad and the good set before them, 
and it is becoming to a reasonable being to prefer the better." 

As to the future of art, the effort of his life was to contribute 
what he could, however imperfect, towards its perfection, though 
conscious of many difficult problems which he was unable to 
solve ; still he hopes " that every one will, according to his 
power, try to make up my deficiencies." He looked upon 

H 2 


himself as in no way at the head of an art-movement, but only 
as a man who could not refuse to fulfil some great purpose in its 
development. He was content to be a precious corner-stone in 
the edifice of German Art, the future grandeur of which he 
could only foresee ; and little did he dream that the completion 
of the structure would be delayed, even for centuries, by the 
great religious and political struggles which Germany was destined 
to witness, and of which he only lived to see the beginning. 

It is chiefly in DUrer's engravings that we are able to get an 
insight into the depths of his character. Perfect in detail and 
marvellous in execution, each one conveys a lesson often too 
deep for minds unaccustomed to introspection, unmoved by 
the questionings and doubts, the hopes and the despair, which 
afflict a nature dissatisfied with the conditions in which it exists, 
and striving ever to fathom the surrounding mysteries. Given 
to melancholy thoughts from his earlier years, and seldom able 
to divest himself of them, restless in the pursuit of knowledge, 
his mind was full of the fantastic shapes which appear in the 
creations of his pencil. Humble and faithful in his search after 
good, he was rewarded by revelations which he strove to com- 
municate. The more subtle and diversified his fancies, the more 
careful is he in giving them expression, lest any fragment should 
be lost. Hence the strange variety of forms, the wonderful 
mixture of the sublime and the homely, the real and the imagin- 
ary, which crowd upon a single picture — legends from those 
shadowy lands reserved for the visits of genius, relieving the 
monotonous story of every-day life. 



BsBbiH. Miu. Virgin and Child. (Purc/uued in 1880 from the 
MaTcheie Gino Capponi, ' ' A eometehat poor work, 
but believed on. good authority to be auth^ntK." 
'Academj,' No. 446.) 

CAsaBL, GidUry. Portrait of Elizabeth Tucher. Elbpet Niclab Td- 

Dbebdbk, G<d. Christ on the Cross. 1600, Fateb I Manvs tu 


Christ bearing the Cross, MDXXVII. 

Portr^t of Bemhard von Ikssen. 1521. (Pairded 

Madonna and sleefnng Child 

v>iiig» S. Sebastian and 

only are by DUrer.) 
Flobenob. Uffiii Portrwt of Albrecht Diirer.' 1498. 

Portrait of Albrecht Diirer the elder. 1490 {or 1498). 

{See foot-note ' on p. 103.) 

(A« centre; on the tide 
Anthony, (The ^rnngt 

■ A similar painting is at Madrid : Waagen is in favour of the Ufiizi one 
bdog the original ; on the other hand, Miindler declares for the Madrid 

; rPAJNl'lNQS. 103 

Florence. 77^21. ^. Philip. 1^16. /. • 

S. James. 1516. 

Madonna and Child. 1526. 

Adoration of the Magi. 1504. {Painted for Frederick 

the Wise.) 

Pitti Palace, Adam. ) ,« ^ ^ ^ ^ ^r- 

Eve \ {See foot-note^ on this page.) 

Frankpoet. Job. {See foot-note on p. 104.) 

Stadel. Portrait of Albrecht Diirer the elder. 1494. Albrecht 
Thurer der Elter und alt 70 Jor. {See foot- 
note^ on this page.) 
Portrait of Katharine Fiirleger. 1497. (Another por- 
trait of this girl, also hy Diirer, was formerly in 
the possession of the late Mr. Wynn Ellis.) 
Town Gallery, A copy hy Paul Juve^iel of a triptych — * The Coronation 

of the Virgin,' with ^ The Martyrdom of St. James ' 
and *The Martyrdom of St. Catharine' on the wings. 
Albertu Durer faciebat post Virgixis partu 
1509. {The original, which loas painted in 1507-09 
for Jakob Heller of Frankfort, was burnt in the old 
palace of Munich in 1674. It is thought by some 
critics that the portraits of Jakob Heller and his 
wife on the wings are the original work of Durer, 
and it is presumed that they may have been sawn ojff 
the painting before it went to Munich.) 

Isleworth. Six)n Portrait of his father, Albrecht DUrer the elder. 
House. 1497. Albrecht Thurer der Elter und alt 
70 JoR.i 

N^Zuil Gal. 1 ^^* P^^'^* ^^ ^ ^^'^^^^^^ l^l*- 


1507. Replicas are in the Pitti Palace, 
Florence, and copies in the Museum at Ma inz. ^ 

Madrid. Mus. Adam. \ On the ^ Eve* is inscribed Albertus Durer 

Eve. J Alemanus faciebat post Virginis partum. 

* Similar pictures are in the Uffizi, Florence ; the Pinakothek, Mimich ; 
and the Stadel, Frankfort. Much discussion has taken place as to which 
is the original of the four : Passavant is in favour of the Frankfort one, 
Mrs. Heaton of that of Sion House. 

2 Passavant thinks that the Madrid pictures are the original, but Mr. 
J. A. Crowe is decidedly in favour of those in the Pitti Palace. 


Madrid. Mus, Poi-trait of Albrecht Durer. (^e^/oo^-notoonp. 102.) 

Portrait of a Man. 

Milan. Christ crowned with thorns. 1514. (See Burckhardt's 

Trivulzi Coll. * Cicerone/ 1879.) 

MuiriOH. The Birth of Christ (2), tinth S. Eustace (1) on the left 

Pinakothek, wiivg, and 8. George (3) on the right, (Painted 
for the church of S. Catharine in Nurnberg. S, 
George is a p&rtraii of Stephan Baumgdrtiier : 
S. Eustace is his brother Lucas. Kugler and Von 
Eye think that this work belongs to about the same 
time as * The Knight, Death and the Devil,* i. e. 
1513 ; but Mrs. Heaton is of opinion that it is to be 
ascribed to his * early time, before his visit to Venice.') 

B. John and S. Peter (71), and 8. Paul and 8. Mark 
(76) (sometimes called * The Four Temperaments '). 
(Copies by Georg Gdrtner are in the Germanic 
Museum at Nii/rnberg.) 

Lucretia. 1518. 

Portrait of Oswald Krell. Oswolt Krel. 1499. 

8. Joachim and 8. Joseph.^ 1523. (Cabinet 7, No. 

Portrait of Albrecht Diirer. Albebtus Duberus 
NoBicus IPSUM me pbopbiissio effingebam oolobi- 


Simeon and the Mitred Abbot Lazarus.^ (Cabinet 7> 

No. 127.) 
Portraitof Albrecht DUrer, the elder. 1494. Albbeout 

Thubeb deb Elteb und alt 70 Job. [See foot-note 

on p. 103.) 
Portrait of Michel Wolgemut. 1516. 
Portrait of a Young Man. 1600. 
Rest on the Flight into Egypt. 1624. 

Naples. San^ A Woman tying a garland at a Window. 1508. (See 
Angelo Coll. Burckhardfs 'Cicerone/ 1879.) 

1 These formed the interior of the wings of an altar-piece which Diirer 
painted, probably for a member of the Jabach family at Coin. The exterior 
of the wings are the one in the 8tadel at Frankfort, and the other in the 
Wallraf-Richartz Museum at C61n. The centre-piece is lost. 



NuBNBERG. Portrait of Hieronymus Holzschuher. 1526. ^ 

Germanic Miis, Hercules. 

Portrait of the Emperor Charlemagne. 
Portrait of the Emperor Sigismmid. 
Moritz Kapelle,^ The Body of Christ taken down from the Cross and 

mourned by the holy women and His disciples. 
{Painted for a member of the Holzschuher family : 
a copy is in S, Sebald's Church, whefi'e the original 
once hung, Kugler attributes it to the time 1515-18.) 

Pbaoue. Abbey Feast of the Rose-garlands. Exeoit quinque Mestbi 
of Strahow. Spatio Albebtus Dubeb Gebmanus MDVI. 

{Painted for the Fonda/io de* Tedeschi, Venice: 
contains portraits of Diirerj Pirkheimer, Fugger, 
Maximilian I., and Julius II. An old copy is 
in the Museum at Lyons.) 
Gallery, Madonna with the Iris. 

Rome. Bwghese* Portrait of a Man. 1505. 
Barberini, Christ among the Doctors. 

Vienna. Portrait of Maximilian I. 1519. (A replica was in the 

Belvedere, possession of the late Lord Northwick. ) 

The Martyrdom of the ten thousand Saints. Istb 
faciebat anno DOMINI. 1508. Albebtus Diibeb 
Alemanus. {Painted for Frederick the Wise: con- 
tains portraits of DUrer and Pirkheimer. An old 
copy is in the Schleissheim Gallery. ) 

The Adoration of the Trinity. Albebtus Dubeb 
NoBiJCus faciebat anno a vibgjnjs pabtu. 1511. 
{Painted for the * House of the Twelve Brothers : ' 
contains portraits of DUrer and Landaiier.) 

Madonna and Child. 1503. 

Madonna and Child with the pear. 1512. 

Portrait of a Man with red hair and a black cap. 1607. 

Portrait of Johann Kleberger. 1526. 

Madonna and Child with the lemon. 1520. {By some 
critics ascribed to DUrer, but Mr, J: A, Crave says 
it *'' bears a false signature and date, and is by a 
Fleming imitating DUrer :^^ it is registered in the 
official catalogue as * Netherlandish School.*) 

* The property of the Holzschuher family. * Now used as a picture gallery. 



Coat of Arms, with Death's Head. 1503. 

Adam and Eve. 1504. 

The Nativity, of the year 1504. 

The Prodigal Son. 

The Penance of S. Chrysostom. 

The Penance of S. Jerome. 

The Family of the Satyr. 1505 . 

The Oflfer of Love. 

A Man and Woman struggling. 

A Prodigious Hog. 

Justice {cUso called The Nemesis). 

The Little Fortune. 

The Great Horse. 1505. 

The Little Horse. 1505. 

The Passion in Copper. {Never puUished in hook form-) 
(1) The Man of Sorrows. 1509. 
(ii) Christ on the Mount of Olives. 1508. 
(iii) The Betrayal. 1510. ? 1.508. 
(iv) Christ before Caiaphas. 1512. 
(v) Christ before Pilate. 1512. 
(vi) Christ Scourged. 1512* 
(vii) Christ Mocked. 1512. 
(viii) Ecoe Homo. 1512, 
(ix) Pilate washing his Hands.. 1512. 
(x) Christ bearing the Cross. 1512. 
(xi) The Crucifixion. 151 K 
(xii) The Descent into Hell. 1512. 
(xiii) Christ taken down from the Cross. 1507. 
(xiv) The Entombment. 1512. 
(xv) The Resurrection. 1512. 
(xvi) Peter and John healing the lame man. 1513. 
S. George. 150a 

Christ with Bound Hands. 1512. {Dry point. ) 
S. Jerome. 1512. {Dry poirU.) 

The Holy Family, with Joseph and three otlier figures. {D)^ point.) 
S.Veronica. 1510. {Etching.) 
A Man bearing oft' a Nak«d Woman on a Unicom. {Etching,) 


Christ Seated, Crowned with Thorns. 1515. {Etching.) 

Christ on the Mount of Ohves. 151 6^ {Etching.) 

An Angel bearing the Sudarium. . {Etching.) 

T?he Great Cannon. {Etching,) 

Study of some Naked Figures. {Etching,) 

The Little Crucifixion. 

The Small St. Jerome. {Bound.) 

The Knight, Death and the Devil {or The Horse of Death, or The 

Christian Knight). 1513. 
Si Jerome in his Chamber. . 1514. 
Melencolia. 1514. 

The Virgin as Queen of Heaven. 1514. 

The Virgin as Earthly Mother {or, The Virgin by the Wall). 1514. 
g. Paul. 1514. ' 
S. Thomas. 1514. 
A Dancing Boor and his Wife. 1514. 
The Bagpipe Player. 1514. 
S. Eustachius {frequently called S. Hubertus). 

The Great Fortune (" probably the one called by Diirer^ The Nemesis ")• 
The Coat of Arms with the Cock. 

The Virgin on the H^lf Moon, with Crown and Sceptre. 1516. 
The Virgin Crowned by Two Angels. 1518. 
The Virgin Suckling the Child. 1519. 
S. Anthony. 1519. 

The Virgin Crowned by One Angel. 1520. 
The Virgm with the Child m Swaddling Clothes. 1520. 
S. Christopher. J 521. 
S. Bartholomew. 1523. 
S. Simon. 1523. 
S. Philip. 1526. 

DOUBTFUL. (Perhaps by Wolgemut.) 

The Four Naked Women {or " The Pdur Witches "). 1497. 

Amymone {(yr " The Sea-Rider ")• 

The Dream of Love. 

The Promenade {or Knight and Lady). 

The Great Hercules (or Jealousy). 

The Virgin with the Monkey. 

The Lady on Horseback {or the Little Amazon). 



The Apocaljrpse. {The first and second editions appeared in 1493, the 

third in 1511.) 

(i) The attempted Martyrdom of S. John. 

(ii) The Vision of the Seven Golden Candlesticks. 

(iii) The Throne of God with Twenty-four Elder? and the Four Beasts. 

(iv) The Opening of the First Four Seals. (The Four Riders.) 

(v) The Opening of the Fifth and Sixth Seals. Martyrs clothed in white. 

(vi) The Four Angels holding the Four Winds, and the Sealing of the 

Elect on their Foreheads. 

(vii) The Elect with Palm-branches glorify the Lamb. 

(viii) The Sounding of the Trumpets. 

(ix) The Four Angels of the Great River Euphrates killing die third 

part of Men. 

(x) The Angel with the column Feet. 

(xi) The Woman clothed with the Sun. 

(xii) Michael and his Angels fighting the Great Dragon. 

(xiii) The Worshipping of the Dragon. 

(xiv) The Babylonian Woman. 

(xv) The Binding of Satan for a thousand years. 

(xvi) The Vision of the Virgin to S. John. (Added as a vignette on the 
title-page of the third edition) 

The Life of the Virgin. {The first edition appeared in 1611, the later 
editions are vnthout text. ) 

(i) The High Priest refusing the Offering of Joachim in the Temple, 
(ii) The Angel appearing to Joachim in the Wilderness, 
(iii) Joachim embraces Anna at the Golden Gate, 
(iv) The Birth of the Virgin, 
(v) The Purification, 
(vi) The Betrothal of the Virgin, 
(vii) The Annunciation, 
(viii) The Visitation, 
(ix) The Nativity, 
(x) The Adoration of the Kings, 
(xi) The Circumcision of Christ, 
(xii) The Purification in the Temple, 
(xiii) The Flight into Egypt, 
(xiv) The Repose in Egypt. 

(xv) Christ found by his Parents disputing with the Doctors, 
(xvi) Christ taking leave of his Mother, 
(xvii) The Death of the Virgin. 1510. 
(xviii) The Assumption of the Virgin. 


(ziz) The Virgin and Child adored by Saints and Angels, 
(xx) The Virgin on the Crescent Moon. ( Vignette on the title-pctge) 

The Great Passion. {Published f/rat in hook form in 1611.) 
(i) The Last Supper, 
(ii) Christ on the Mount of Olives, 
(iii) The Betrayal of Christ, 
(iv) The Scourging of Christ, 
(v) Christ Mocked, 
(vi) Christ bearing the Cross, 
(vii) The Crucifixion, 
(viii) The Descent into Hell, 
(ix) The Body of Christ mourned over by the Virgin and the Holy 

(x) Christ laid in the Grave. 
(xi) The Resurrection, 
(xii) Christ Mocked. ( Vignette on the title-page.) 

The Little Passion. (The first two editions appeared in 1511, in 
Niirnberg ; a third in 1612, in Venice ; and a fourth in 1844, in 
London; and a fifth — imperfect^ and from casts— in \^6Q, 
(i) Adam and Eve in Paradise, 
(ii) The Expulsion from Paradise, 
(iii) The Annunciation, 
(iv) The Nativity, 
(v) The Entry into Jerusalem. 

(vi) Christ driving the Money-changers out of the Temple, 
(vii) Christ taking leave of His Mother, 
(viii) The Last Supper, 
(ix) The Washing of the Feet, 
(x) The Prayer on the Mount of Olives, 
(xi) The Kiss of Judas, 
(xii) Christ before Annas, 
(xiii) Caiaphas rends his Clothes, 
(xiv) Christ Mocked, 
(xv) Christ before Pilate, 
(xvi) Christ before Herod, 
(xvii) The Scourging. 
^ (xviii) The Crowning with Thorns, 
(xix) Christ shown to the People, 
(xx) Pilate washing his Hands, 
(xxi) Christ bearing the Cross, 
(xxii) The Veronica, 
(xxiii) Nailing Christ to the Cross, 
(xxiv) The Crucifixion, 
(xxv) Descent into Hell. 


(xxvi) Descent from the Cross. 

(xxvii) The Weeping of the Maries, 
(xxviii) The Entombment, 

(xxix) The Resurrection, 
(xxx) Christ in Glory appearing to his Mother. ' 

(xxxi) Christ appears to the Magdalen, 
(xxxii) Christ at Emmaus. 
(xxxiii) The Incredulity of St. Thomas, 
(xxxiv) The Ascension. 

(xxxv) The Descent of the Holy Ghost, 
(xxxvi) The Last Judgment, 
(xxxvii) Christ Seated, with a Crown of Thorns on His Head {on the title) . 

Samson killing the Lion. 

The Beheading of S. John the Baptist. 1510; 

Death and the Soldier. 1510. 

The Trinity. 1511. 

S. Christopher. 1511. 

The Mass of S. Gregory. 1511. 

S. Jerome in his Chamber. 1511, 

S. Francis receiving the Stigmata. 

The Holy Family with Three Hares. 

The Holy Family with the Guitar. 1511. 

The Virgin Crowned by two Angels. 1518. 

Salome giving the Head of the Baptist to Herodias. 1611. 

The Adoration of the Kings. 1511. 

The Bath. ' 

The Rhinoceros. 1515. 

The Great Head of Christ. 

Coat of Arms. 1523. 

The Triumphal Arch of Maximilian. 1512-1515. {Composed of. ninety- 

tioo separate hlocksj which^ when put together , form one cut %ft. Qin. 

high by 9ft. wide. The complete design was first published in 

Vienna in 1559.) 
The Triumphal Car of Maximilian. {Composed of eight blocks, forming 

one cut 1ft. 6in. long by \ft. 6m. high. The first edition appeared 

in 1522, the second in 1523. ) 
Maximilian's Prayer-Book. {Drawings.) 
The Great Column. 1517. 
The Eight Patron Saints of Austria. 
The Apotheosis of the Emperor Maximilian. 
Portrait of Maximilian. ' 

S. Christopher. 1525. 




Heller, Joseph. Das Leben und die Werke Albrecht Diirer's. 
Vol. ii. only " Die Werke." Bamberg, 1827 and 1831. 

Eye, Dr. A. von. Leben und Wirken Albrecht Diirer's. 
Nordlingen, 1860 and 1869. 

Scott, William B. Albert DiLrer : his Life and Works, 
•including Autobiographical Papers and complete Catalogues. 
London, 1869. 

Schmidt, Dr. Wilhelm. Albrecht Diirer. In the " Kunst und 
Kiinstler des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit." Edited by 
Dr. Eobert Dohrae. Leipzig, 1875. 

Thausing, Moritz. Diirer. Geschichte seines liebens und 
seiner Kunst. Leipzig, 1876. 

Heaton, Mrs. Charles. The Life of Albrecht Diirer of 
Niirnberg, with a translation of his Letters and Journal, 
and an account of his works. Second Edition. London, 




1471 Bom at Karnberg, Maj 2Ut 5 

1486 Apprentioed to Wolganut 11 

1490 Started OD hiB Wndrasdiaft 13 

1-^2 Wait to Golmar 13 

1494 Returned from his Wanderschaft 13 

1494 Married Agnes Frey, Jolj 14th 17 

1502 His Father died, September 20th 7 

1505 Went to Venice 35 

1507 Yisited B<dogna aS 

1507 Left Venice 38 

1509 Purchased a hoose in Niimberg 54 

1514 His Mother died, Maj 17th 8 

1518 Visited Aogsborg 58 

1520 Set out for the Netherlands, Jolj 12th 62 

Went through Bambo^, Frankfort and Mainz ... ... 63 

Arrived at Antwerp 63 

Went to Bnusels, Auguitt 20th ... ... ... ... 6o 

Retomed to Antwerp, S^tember 2Dd ... ... ... 66 

Visited Aachen ... ... ... ... 66 

Went to Cohi ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 67 

Obtained his Confirmatia ... ... ... 67 

Agam in Antwerp 67 

Keariy shipwrecked at Ammijden ... ... ... ... 68 

1521 ... In Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent 70 

Returned to Antwerp 71 

Went to Mechlin 71 

Went to Brussels 71 

Left Brussels to return to Numberg, July 12th 72 

1528 Died at Numbeig, April 6th 87 

Alberti, L. B. 



Alexander VI. 


Fortran of Andreas Darer... 

Andresa ... 65, 56, 89, 81 

Portrait ef hit Mother 

„ „ Maximilian ... 

BalduDg 21 

BaUflr, Heinrich Jet 

Bubari, Jacapode' ... 15 




„ „ Pirkheimer ... 

„ „ Wolgmut 
FTm/er-hmk of Maximilitm 
Pupitla Augusta ... 

BatUDgSrtner ... 22 


Beham, B. 


BehMD, H. a ... 81 



Bellini, G. ... 14 


tfelKh Srhloss 

Bombelli 84 


tfouum toith Falcon 



Diirer, Alhrecht, the elder 4, S 
„ Albrecht. (S« Clirono- 




Charles V. ... 60 


Diirer, Andreas ... 9, 

„ Barbara ■ 7 

„ Hans ... 8,9, 

CamerariuB ... 80, 89 




Chnct blaring the Cntt ... 



FauditT Klm<!!xn 



GriBt Fmtion 



fftado/UuDtadSavimr ... 



Intpnm, W™ o/(AIb«rtiDa) 


Copper-Famoa ... 




Mt^mna. 14S5 

Gnat Horse 

Fmtrait of Agati Frty 

Knight, Death and the Devil 76, 

(Albect^na) ... ... 

FoTtrait of Aqnit JVw 


Zo™ Cardinal 

UtUe Cardinal 

(Bremen) ., 


Uttlt Hors, 

Fin-trait of Agnes Freu 

Melencolia ... 75, 

(150S)... ... .i 


Portrait of Erasmus 

Fertrait of Albrsrht Darer 

S. Eustarhita {S. Huhertua) 


S. Jerome in the ail 75, 

PoTlrait of Albncht Barer 

Satyr Family 



Eramnoa 63, 81, 



Etchings (dry point) 
„ (on iron) ., 
Eyck, Jan van 


Fencing, Book on ... ... 91 

Food for Young Painters ... 93 

Francisco of Portugal ... 69 

Frey, Agnes ... 17, 18, 19 

Hans ... ... 17 



Goes, Hugo van der 

•. 63 

.. 70 
,. 65 

Haller ... ... ... 65 

HeUer, Jakob ... 40, 41, 63 

Hesse ... ... ... 80 

llieronymus, the architect ... 36 
Holbein ... ... ... 2 

Holper ... ... ... 4, 5 

Horebout ... ... ... 71 

Human Proportion, Book on 91, 92 
Hutten, Ulrich von 80, 81 

Imhof, Wilibald 22 

Imhofs wife ... ... 69 

Instruction in Fortification ... 90 

Instruction in Mensuration ... 90 

Journal of Netherlands trip ... 62 

Koburgcr ... ... 2, 5, 51 

Krafft ... ... ... 3, 5 

Kratzer ... ... 64,80 

Kulmbach... ... ... 21 

Landauer ... ... ... 42 

Letters from Venice ... 38 

Leyden, Lucas van ... ... 71 

Link ... ... ... 80 

Loffelholz's wife ... ... 69 

Luther ... ... 78, 79,89 

Marcantonio ... 35, 51 

Margaret, Archduchess 30, 65, 71 
Maximilian 24, 54, 55, 60 

Medallions attributed to Diirer 45 

Melanchthon 18, 19, 80, 81, 82, 89, 96 
Memling ... ... ... 70 

Michelangelo's Madonna of 
Bruges ... ... ... 70 

Nutzel's wife 

0.siander ... 






Adam and Eve 

Adoration of the Mayi 

Adoration of the Trinity 

Baumgdrtner Altar-piece 

Calumny^ Design for 

Christ leaving the Tonih 

Christ on the Cross 

Coronation of the Virgin 

Dresden Altar^ece 

Feast of Rose Garlands 

Four Apostles 

Four Temperaments 75, 83, 85 

Hercules fighting with the 

Stymphahan Birds 
Holy Women wailirtg over the 

Dead Christ 
Jesus (on parchment) 
Jesus among the Doctors 
Jjucre^ia ... ... 

Madonna (UflBzi) ... 
Madonna with the Iris 
Madonna with the Pear 
Madonna (Vienna) 
Martyrdom of the 10,000 

Oc*Z7l»v ••• ••• ••• 

Portrait of Cardinal Alhrecht 
Portrait of Charlemagne ... 
Portrait of the Elector Fred- 

^fZCfC •«• ••■ ••• 

Portrait of Eoban Hesse 
Portrait of Alhrecht Diirer, 

the elder (UflBzi) 
Portrait of Alhrecht DUrer^ 

the elder (Sion House) ... 
Portrait of Alhrecht Diirer 

Portrait of Alhrecht Diirer 

(on parchment) 
Portrait of Alhrecht Diirer 












»> >» 
»> >» 
>» »» 



Pamtings — 

Portrait of Albreckt DUrer 

(sent to Baphael) ... 52 
Portrait of Albreckt D&rer 

(Munich) ... ... 52 

Portrait of Holzschiiher ... 83 

Kleherger ... 83 

Krell 23 

Mussel ... 83 

Maximilian ... 59 

Melanchthon ... 82 

Patenir ... 71 

Pirkheimer ... 80 

Fon Eessen ... 69 

Sigismund ... 54 
Wolgemut 12, 58 

4^. F«ft«s Altar-piece ... 21 

Salvator Mundt ... ... 31 

Samson slaying the Philistines 46 

Papst-Eiael of Wolgemut ... 24 

Patenir ... ... ... 71 

Pencz ... ... ... 81 

Philip of Bui^ndy .,. ... 30 

Pirkheimer 3, 4, 18, 19, 20, 29, 62, 

69, 74, 81, 89 

Plankfelt ... ... ... 63 

Proost ... ... ... 70 

>» »» 
»» »» 



Raphael ... 

... 51, 52, 66 


. 68 

Reuchlin ... 

... 78 

Rhymes by DUrer 

... 51 


... 80 


> . . • . . ^1 




... 13, 14, 38, 77 


• • • • • • 4^ 


... 12 

... ... o 


... 45 

Sculpture — 

Female Figure (in silver) 
I^fe of John the Baptist 

hone stone) 
Seven Falls of Christ (in 
ver) ... 

Sickingen, Frau 

Signature on works ... 

Spalatin ... 

Specklin ... 

Spengler ... 

Spengler's wife 



Stoss, Veit 

Strauber's wife 

Susanna (Diirer's maid) 

Tscherte ... 

Vincitore ... 
Vitruvius ... 


• •• 




... 10 
... 77 
... 52 
... 78 
... 91 
... 69 
.. 56 
... 4 
... 69 
... 62 


... 80 


. • . o 

... 30 

W, the monogram ... ... 13 

Wenzel ... ... ... 13 

Werthaimer ... ... lo 

Weyden, Roger van der ... 65 

Wolgemut ... 5, 11, 12, 13 

Woodcuts — 

Apocalypse 23, 25—29, 33, 50 
Babylonian Woman ... 25 

Great Passion ... 33,50 

Holy Family ... ... 83 

Life of the Virgin 21, 33—35, 50 

Little Passion 
Portrait of VdrenbUler 
Sancta Justitia 
Trinity ... 

Triumph of Maximilian 
Triumphal Arch ... 
n Car ... 

Vienna ... 





R. Clay, Sons, and Taylor, 










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