This is a later copy after the great German Renaissance painter Albrecht Dürer's 'Portrait of a Man', today in the Museo del Prado, Madrid (inv. no. P002180).1 That portrait is signed with Dürer's famous monogram and dated 1521. As the inscription on this copy testifies, the portrait was previously believed to depict Hans Imhoff the Elder (d. 1522), a councilman in Nuremberg, but there is no real foundation for this suggestion. Despite his unknown identity, however, the sitter's character is as plain today as if we were meeting him in the early 16th century. The large hat emphasises, rather than hides, the man's penetrating stare and determined set of his jaw, and the viewer's gaze is also drawn towards his hands and the scroll of paper he holds tightly.
It is most likely that Dürer executed this painting during his trip to the Netherlands, or back in Nuremberg later that same year. The minute attention given to differing textures and fabrics recalls the practice of contemporary Flemish painters, such as Quentin Massys, who Dürer is known to have emulated during his trip north. The sitter's clothing, however, may suggest that he was living in Germany.
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