A later copy after the great German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer's portrait of Hieronymus Holzschuher, painted in 1526 and today in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin (inv. no. 557e).1 The original portrait is one of the most important of Dürer's late period.
Dürer was good friends with Holzschuher, who was a member of one of Nuremberg's most influential patrician families that controlled the city. He was elected junior mayor in 1500, senior mayor in 1509, and joined the city's High Council in 1514; he is portrayed in the original, and reproduced in this copy, at the age of 57. Unlike the sitter in the other copy after Dürer in this auction (Lot 7), Holzschuher engages the viewer's gaze directly, looking somewhat critical but ultimately benevolent. Mullioned window frames are reflected in his eyes, and every detail of his furrowed brow, hair and beard is depicted meticulously.
Fascinatingly, the portrait in Berlin is still preserved in its original frame, which has a sliding lid decorated with the coats of arms of the Holzschuher and Münzer families – the arms of Hieronymus' wife. It would therefore appear that the portrait was not generally on display, and was rather hidden in this casement for private attention.
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