Lot 27
  • 27

Jacopo de' Barbari

1,500,000 - 2,000,000 GBP
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  • Jacopo de' Barbari
  • Portrait of Albrecht of Brandenburg (1490-1545)
  • signed, inscribed and dated upper right: IMAGO ALBERTI MARCHIONIS BRADENB/ CV XVIII ANV AGERET GRAPHICE/ DEPICTA/ QUOD OPUS IAvs DE BARBARIS FACIEB/ M. DVIII and signed with the artist's device of a caduceus
  • oil and tempera on panel


Probably Leopold III Friedrich, Prince of Anhalt and 1st Duke of Anhalt-Dessau (1740–1817), Gotisches Haus, Wörlitz, near Dessau;

Probably by descent to his grandson Leopold IV Friedrich, Duke of Anhalt (1794–1871), Gotisches Haus, Wörlitz and Schloss Dessau;

Friedrich I, Duke of Anhalt (1871–1904), Gotisches Haus, Wörlitz and Schloss Dessau, inv. no. 1491, when hung in the 'geistliche Kabinett' at the Gotisches Haus;

By descent to Friedrich II, Duke of Anhalt (1856–1918), Gotisches Haus, Wörlitz and Schloss Dessau;

By descent to his nephew Joachim Ernst, Duke of Anhalt (1901–1947), Schloss Dessau;

By whose curator offered in August 1927 to Galerie Heinemann, Munich, for RM 35,000, but presumably turned down;

Possibly with 'Goldschmidt' (probably Arthur Goldschmidt, acting for J. and S. Goldschmidt), Berlin, probably in 1927 or shortly thereafter;

With Julius Böhler, Munich, by 1931;

Acquired from the above by Ernst Saulmann, Ehingen, for 40,000 RM in 1931;

On commission from the above to Julius Böhler in 1935 (not sold);

Permission granted to Saulmann by the German fiscal authorities for the sale of the work abroad in 1936;

Acquired from the above by Theodor Fischer, Lucerne, 1936 (the proceeds of the sale confiscated from Saulmann by the German fiscal authorities);

Private collection, Switzerland, circa 1960;

By descent to the present owner (settlement reached with the Saulmann heirs in 2014).


Munich, Julius Böhler, Austsellung Altvenezianischer Malerei, 1931, no. 2;

Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie, Meisterwerke aus baden-württembergischem Privatbesitz, 1958–59, no. 11;

Bregenz, Künstlerhaus, Meisterwerke der Malerei aus privatsammlungen im Bodenseegebiet, 1965, no. 3;

Innsbruck, Landhaus, Maximilian I, 1 June – 5 October 1969, no. 533;

Basel, Kunstmuseum, Lukas Cranach. Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik, 15 June – 8 September 1974, no. 4;

Venice, Palazzo Grassi, Renaissance Venice and the North, 5 September 1999 – 9 January 2000, no. 84;

Hamburg, Bucerius Kunst Forum, Lucas Cranach. Glaube, Mythologie und Modernem, 6 April – 13 July 2003, no. 2;

Halle, Kunstmuseum des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt, Der Kardinal. Albrecht von Brandenburg, Renaissancefürst und Mäzen,  9 September – 26 November 2006, no. 88.


W. Hosäus, Ein handbuch für die besucher des Wörlitzer Gartens und die Wörlitzer Kunstsammlungen, Dessau 1883, p. 47, as hanging in 'Die geistliche Kabinett'; 

W. Schmidt, 'Ein Porträt des Kurfursten Albrecht von Mainz', in Beilage zur Allgemeinen Zeitung, 94, April 1900, p. 5;

W.A. Luz, 'Der Kopf des Kardinals Albrecht von Brandenburg bei Dürer, Cranach und Grünewald', in Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft, 45, 1925, p. 43;

G. Fiocco, 'Ausstellung Venezianischer Kunst in München', in Zeitschrift für bildenden Kunst, Leipzig 1931–32, pp. 155–60;

A. de Hevesy, 'An unknown portrait by Jacopo de' Barbari', in The Burlington Magazine, 60, 1932, pp. 208–09, reproduced;

R. van Marle, The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting, 18 vols, vol. XVIII, The Hague 1936, p. 474, reproduced fig. 260;

L. Baldass, 'Die Bildnisse des Jacopo dei Barbari', in Pantheon, 22, 1938, pp. 319 and 321;

J. Wilde, 'An unknown portrait by Jacopo de Barbari', in The Burlington Magazine, 72, 1938, p. 43;

W. Zülch, Der historische Grunewald, Mathis Gothardt-Neidhardt, Munich 1938, pp. 21–22 and 411, n. 26;

E. Lavagnino, Gli artisti Italiani in Germania, vol. III, Rome 1943, reproduced fig. VII;

L. Servolini, Jacopo de’ Barbari, Padua 1944, pp. 146–47, reproduced plate XL;

B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Venetian School, vol. I, London 1957, p. 11, reproduced plate 318 (as homeless);

R. Pallucchini, 'Veneti a Stoccarda', in Arte Veneta, 12, 1958, p. 260;

F. Heinemann, 'Das Bildnis des Johannes Corvinus in der Alten Pinakothek und die Jugendwicklung des Jacopo de’ Barbari', in Arte Veneta, 15, 1961, pp. 47–48;

G. Mazzariol and T. Pignatti, La pianta prospettica di Venezia del 1500 disegnata da Jacopo de Barbari, Venice, 1962, p. 7;

T. Pignatti, 'La pianta di Venezia di Jacopo de' Barbari', in Bolletino Museo Civico di Venezia, 9, 1964, pp. 13 and 23;

C. Gilbert, 'Barbari, Jacop de’', in Dizionario biografico degli italiani, 1964, vol. VI, pp. 44–45;

J. Levenson, K. Oberhuber and J.L. Sheehan, Early Italian Engravings from the National Gallery of Art, exh. cat., Washington 1973, p. 341, n. 99, and pp. 143–44, n. 533;

D. Koepllin and T. Falk, Lukas Cranach, Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik, exh. cat., Basel and Stuttgart 1974, vol. I, p. 56, no. 4, and vol. II, p. 792, n. 56;

J.A. Levenson, Jacopo de’ Barbari and Northern Art of the Early Sixteenth Century, doctoral diss., New York University, New York 1978, pp. 91–93, 113, 206–08, no. 11;

B. Butts, 'Dürerschüler Hans Süss von Julmbach', doctoral diss., Harvard University 1985, p. 198;

A.M. Szylin, 'Barbari, Jacopo de’, in Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, vol. VI, 1992, pp. 645–46;

A.M. dal Pozzolo, in Renaissance Venice and the North. Crosscurrents in the time of Dürer, Bellini and Titian, exh. cat., Milan 1999, pp. 370–71, no. 84, reproduced;

G.C.F. Villa, 'Jacopo de Barbari', in La Pittura nel Veneto, Il Cinquecento, vol. III, M. Lucco (ed.), Florence 1991, p. 1298;

S. Hauschke, 'Ein Paragone um Grabdenkmӓler der Vischer-Werkstatt. Kardinal Albrecht Von Brandenburg und Kurfürst Friedrich der Weise von Sachsen', in Anzeiger des Germanischen Nationalmuseums, 2002, p. 238;

W. Schade, Lucas Cranach. Glaube, Mythologie und Modernem, exh. cat., Hamburg 2003, p. 166, no. 2, reproduced fig. 25;

B. Broos and A. van Suchtlelen, Portraits in the Mauritshuis 1430–1790, Zwolle 2004, p. 36, reproduced fig. 3c;

S. Ferrari, Jacopo de' Barbari: Un protagonista del Rinascimento tra Venezia e Dürer, Milan 2006, pp. 107–08, no. 16;

B. Böckem, Jacopo de' Barbari: Künstlerschaft und Hofkultur um 1500, Weimar 2016, pp. 19, 23, 68, 75, and 253–55, no. 7, reproduced fig. 3.


The following condition report is provided by Sarah Walden who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's: Jacopo de Barbari. Portrait of Albrecht of Brandenburg. This painting is on a panel with three joints, which has been cradled probably early in the twentieth century. There are traces of minor past worm damage in places, and it seems likely to have been slightly thinned before cradling. However it appears to have remained stable and secure since, with no visible signs of strain, or of raised flakes. The background has evidently suffered in the past, and any recent restoration has been careful to leave a certain amount of old varnish throughout this area, visible under ultra violet light. The underlying tempera paint layer in the figure can be seen to have survived quite finely in most of the actual features in the head: for instance in the nose, lips and eyes as well as in some of the outer curls of the hair. Probable oil glazing in the cheeks, and veiling at the sides of the forehead, have been more fragile, as has the deeper final tone of the brushwork in the hair, and for instance in the little fur collar also presumably in oil. The final oil modelling in the hands has also been more vulnerable than their underlying tempera base, with further complexities in the blue of the sleeves. The magnificent brocade and the princely fastening of the vestments, however remain largely beautifully intact, often down to the finest detail. This report was not done under laboratory conditions
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

Painter, draughtsman and printmaker, the Venetian Jacopo de’ Barbari was one of the most fascinating and versatile artists of the early sixteenth century, and ‘the first Italian Renaissance artist of note’1 to make the journey across the Alps to the courts of both Germany and the Netherlands. This rare and important portrait of the young Albrecht of Brandenburg is one of a very small number of certain paintings by his hand, and the only work by him left in private hands. It epitomises the key role which Jacopo’s art and his relationships with his patrons and painters such as Dürer and Cranach played in the evolution of artistic patronage in the Holy Roman Empire in the early Renaissance period. Albrecht, later a cardinal and Elector of Mainz, was himself a patron of very considerable discernment. An important figure in the Catholic hierarchy, it was his sales of indulgences which provided the spark for Martin Luther’s protest and the outbreak of the Reformation itself exactly five hundred years ago. Though a friend of Erasmus and an enlightened patron of artists with both traditional Catholic and new Protestant sympathies, Albrecht himself and his see in Halle would fall before the advance of the new faith in the turbulent years ahead. 

At the very beginning of the sixteenth century Jacopo de’ Barbari, though an Italian, was arguably the most fashionable portrait painter in Germany. In the spring of 1500 the Emperor Maximilian I had summoned him to Nuremberg and appointed him his ‘Contrafeter und Illuminist’ (‘Portrait painter and illuminator’), and had even provided him with a horse for the journey. This suggests that Jacopo already had some reputation as a portrait painter, but no likenesses from his hand from before this date have survived. His introduction to the Imperial court probably came by way of the Nuremberg merchant Anton Kolb, who lived in Venice and who had published Jacopo’s famous engraved bird's-eye prospect of the city that same year. In 1503 Jacopo entered the service of Frederick III (‘The Wise’) Elector of Saxony, and had moved to Wittenberg. Fredrick was at that time elaborating his court and establishing Wittenberg as a major academic and cultural centre, founding its University in 1502. It is clear that Jacopo held the Elector in high regard as a patron of the arts and he remained in his service until 1505, and no doubt Frederick in turn saw in him just the qualities and erudition he sought in his court circles. Within the next three years he would also have worked at the courts of the Dukes of Mecklenburg and, of course, Brandenburg. Much of his attitude to his art (and his good opinion of himself and his classical erudition) is revealed in an address that he wrote to the Elector Frederick around 1501–03, in which he extolled the virtues of Painting, raising it on a par with the seven Liberal Arts. The discernment required to foster such artistic patronage, he implied, was solely the prerogative of the noble class: ‘Come a questi zorni si vede le piture, per chè larte è mendichada da homeni innobeli, perro non pol venir ala excellia come fu di Apele e delli altri nel tempo di Alexandro: no che mancha li inzegni, ma mancha la comoditate e la nobilitade, chè non exercitar la pitura se non homeni nobeli de sangue e de richeze’ (‘..these days we see that painting, misused by ignoble men, is unable to achieve the excellence attained by Apelles and others in the time of Alexander the Great: it does not lack for instruction, but does lack patronage and nobility, for painting can only be sustained by men of noble birth and wealth’).2

Despite Jacopo de’ Barbari’s evident reputation very little is known of his life, and even now his precise dates of birth and death are unrecorded. In a draft of the dedication to his Four Books on Human Proportion published in 1528, Albrecht Dürer wrote that de’ Barbari was born in Venice, and this seems to be correct. His small corpus of work numbers around thirty engravings, including the celebrated monumental bird's-eye prospect of the city of Venice of 1500, two drawings, a dozen or more paintings, of which seven are signed and four dated, among them the first independent still-life of the Renaissance, the famous trompe l’oeil panel of a Dead partridge and gauntlets of 1504, today in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich,3 and several prints and two drawings. It is probably fair to assume that Jacopo de’ Barbari’s painted œuvre was more extensive than we know today, and that part of it which has come down to us suggests that he was a flexible artist, capable of responding to a variety of different commissions. It is not known exactly under whom Jacopo trained, but this is now generally thought to have been Alvise Vivarini in Venice, whose facial types are often reflected in his own work. All of Jacopo’s extant paintings appear to date from his years in Nuremberg and Wittenberg. The earliest of these is possibly the half-length depiction of Saint Oswald in the Slovak National Museum, Bratislava, which may date from 1500 or thereabouts.4 To the former period also probably belongs the Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist and Anthony Abbot (‘the Madonna della fontana’) today in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.5 This colourful but still awkward work combines the tradition of the Venetian sacra conversazione in the vein of Bellini and Vivarini with new elements such as the head of Saint Anthony and the landscape, which show a keen awareness of the work of Dürer. Three further paintings, all today in the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden, a Christ Blessing, a Saint Catherine and a Saint Dorothy are likely to belong to the Wittenberg period, for all three were later in the collection of Lucas Cranach the Younger, son of the Elector’s most famous painter.

Among the paintings that can be attributed to Jacopo with any certainty there are only two portraits, including the present panel, whose attribution is confirmed by his signature and the artist’s device of a caduceus. The only other signed likeness is the Portrait of a man today in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, a smaller limewood panel from around 1506 which is signed with initials and similarly bears the caduceus device (fig. 1).6 To these may be tentatively added the Portrait of Henry, Duke of Mecklenburg (1479–1552) in the Mauritshuis in The Hague, which is dated 1507 and seemingly documented in the Heidelberg castle inventory of 1685 as part of a hinged double portrait showing ‘Duke Henry of Mecklenburg and his consort Ursula in the year 1507, painted in a wooden libellus by Jacopo de’ Barbari’ (fig. 2).7 The style of the three portraits is, however, not entirely homogenous, and among recent scholars only Ferrari regards them as all by Jacopo’s hand. Levenson, for example, rejected the Mauritshuis portrait’s ‘complicated outlines and unusual shapes’ as being at odds with the more frontal pose and simplified forms of the Albert of Brandenburg. All seem to belong to Jacopo’s period of activity in Germany, and this is supported by the two dated works. Certainly their style is much more suggestive of the taste of Jacopo’s German patrons than his Venetian background, and show a familiarity with contemporary Imperial court portraiture under Bernhard Strigel.

There can be no question as to either Jacopo’s authorship of this portrait, or of the identity of his illustrious sitter. No doubt reflecting the importance of the commission, Jacopo has fully signed and inscribed his likeness. This is followed by the painter’s particular symbol of a caduceus (fig. 3), the attribute of Mercury and an ancient symbol of prosperity and peace composed of a winged staff with two entwined serpents. As the inscription records, Albrecht is shown at the young age of eighteen. By this date he had already been ruling the electorate of Brandenburg jointly with his brother Joachim I for a number of years following the death of their father the Elector Johann Cicero of Brandenburg 1499. The portrait was, however, undoubtedly commissioned to celebrate the fact that Albrecht had taken religious orders that same year, and in all probability it was painted in Frankfurt-am-Oder. Certainly Jacopo has taken unusual trouble in his depiction of Albrecht’s ecclesiastical vestments. The young prelate wears a magnificent crimson cloth of gold cope embroidered with the motif of a cardo or thistle. The cope is probably Venetian in origin, and as Dal Pozzolo has observed, it may be compared to that in the Basilica del Santo in Padua, perhaps designed by Jacopo da Montagna in the 1480s.8 The cope is held by a magnificent multi-foil clasp, or morse, showing Saints Martin, Nicholas of Bari and Catherine of Alexandria standing beneath a Gothic architectural canopy (fig. 4), and beneath this hangs a clipeus set with rubies. Below this Albrecht wears a simple white surplice with a green cloth of gold stole over a fur lined purple coat. The choice of the saints on the clasp was quite probably intentional. Saint Martin was eighteen – the same age as Albrecht – when he gave up military service to be baptised and later become a bishop. Saint Catherine was the patron saint of universities, and this may refer to that founded by Albrecht and Joachim in Frankfurt-am-Oder in 1506. The significance of Saint Nicholas is less clear, but he may have represented a role model as bishop. Jacopo has rendered all these details with the greatest of care, offsetting the interplay of colours – gold, crimson, purple and brilliant emerald green – and setting them against the black background.

Albrecht of Brandenburg (1490–1545) was without doubt one of the most influential and interesting patrons of art of his day. His subsequent career in the service of the church was marked by rapid elevation. After an unsuccessful attempt to become bishop of Utrecht he became canon of the chapter of Mainz in 1509. In 1513, still aged only twenty-three, he became archbishop of Magdeburg and administrator of the diocese of Halberstadt. A year later he became archbishop of Mainz and an Elector of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1518, still under the age of thirty, he was made a cardinal. At this point Albrecht’s wealth and position allowed him to undertake a programme of artistic patronage on an unusually broad and discerning scale. In 1519 he paid Albrecht Dürer the remarkable sum of 200 florins and twenty yards of damask to engrave his portrait as cardinal (fig. 5). That same year he commissioned from Lucas Cranach a large decorative programme of over 142 pictures for the collegiate church in Halle, this despite the painter’s close friendship with the Protestant reformer Martin Luther (see also lot 6 in this catalogue). Albrecht was not shy when it came to commissioning his own likeness: he was painted in the guise of Saint Erasmus by Mathias Grünewald as part of a picture depicting Saints Erasmus and Mauritius painted around 1520–25 and today in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich (fig. 6), while Lucas Cranach went on to paint a total of no less than four portraits of the Cardinal in the guise of Saint Jerome (fig. 7), dating from 1525 onwards.9

Albrecht’s patronage of Cranach may seem strange in the light of the fact that it was his own sale of plenary indulgences in 1517 – used to repay his loan from the Fugger family that covered the expenses (some 21,000 ducats) of his elevation to the see of Mainz – and at a cool fifty percent of the sales, the profits they engendered for the Holy See – that had prompted Martin Luther to nail his famous pamphlet, the Ninety-five Theses, to the door of the cathedral at Wittenberg. Luther’s deed proved to be the vital moment that sparked the Reformation itself, and Cranach would become his close friend and the visual promoter of the new Protestant doctrine. Albrecht himself was undeterred, and even organised another sale of indulgences in 1523 for anyone to come to venerate his remarkable collection of 8,100 sacred relics and 42 holy skeletons that he kept in his principal residence in Halle. Albert adorned the Stiftskirche at Halle as well as the cathedral at Mainz, and appropriately took as his motto the words Domine, dilexi decorem domus tuae ('Lord, I admired the adornment of your house'). For all his extravagance, however, Albrecht was a significant and enlightened patron of art and learning, and though a Catholic he counted Erasmus among his friends. But his generous and open-minded patronage could not enable him to rise above the tumultuous events of his day. His hostility towards the reformers was never as extreme as that of his brother Joachim, and perhaps as a result the new doctrines made considerable progress in his dominions. During his later years he showed more intolerance towards the Protestants, and supported the teaching of the Jesuits, but in the end his stronghold at Halle became Protestant in 1542 and he was forced to flee the city. He died at the Martinsburg in Mainz in 1545.

Jacopo’s mature style was clearly formed during his German years and thus the nature of his relationships with his German artistic contemporaries has been of the greatest interest. There can be little doubt that de’ Barbari knew Albrecht Dürer personally. The two men would most likely have met in Venice, where Dürer was between 1495 and 1496. Dürer’s opinion of Jacopo’s abilities seems to have been inconsistent. In a letter to his friend Willibald Purckheimer, written from Venice in 1506, for example, he remarked disparagingly that Jacopo’s fellow painters were less than complimentary about his abilities, remarking of his journey north that a truly good painter would never have left Venice in the first place. He nevertheless acknowledged his influence on his own study of proportions, and is said to have admired Jacopo’s paintings when he visited the collection of the Regent Margaret of Austria in Mechelen in 1521. There is little doubt, however, that Dürer and de’ Barbari absorbed ideas from each other, notably, for example, in the way figural types from Jacopo’s engravings appear in Dürer’s own prints.10 Although we cannot be absolutely sure of its dating, Jacopo’s Madonna and Child with Saints John and Anthony Abbot was probably painted in Nuremberg and clearly shows the influence of Dürer’s work in the head of Saint Anthony and the landscape setting. Similarly, as Böckem has suggested, it is possible to see in Dürer’s Virgin and Child of 1503 in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, a use of meticulous detail offset against a dark background found in Jacopo’s Head of Christ of the same period in the Schlossmuseum in Weimar, and indeed still very much in evidence in the present work.11 While in Nuremberg, Jacopo de’ Barbari trained the young Hans Suess von Kulmbach (c.1480–1522), who later joined Dürer’s workshop, and it is not hard to see in his Portrait of a young man of c. 1508, today in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the clear influence of this and Jacopo’s portrait in Vienna on his work. There does not seem to be much evidence, however, that de’ Barbari’s idiosyncratic facial and figure types directly influenced his contemporaries in Wittenberg, but it is interesting to note that three of his paintings, a Christ blessing, a Saint Catherine, and a Saint Barbara, all today in Dresden, were once to be found in the collection of Lucas Cranach the younger, the son of Jacopo’s famous fellow court painter, and a Cranach engraving of 1553 appears to be derived from the Christ blessing.12

This is the last known painting by Jacopo that has survived. Shortly after this, perhaps as a result of the religious convulsions in Germany, he travelled to the Netherlands, where he entered the service of Philip of Burgundy, Bishop of Utrecht and the natural son of Philip the Good, at the castle of Souburg in Zeeland, and he may have journeyed with him and Jan Gossaert to Italy in 1508–09. By 1510 he was working for the Archduchess Margaret of Austria, the daughter of the Emperor Maximilian I and the ruler of the Hapsburg Netherlands. Few if any paintings survive from this last phase of his life, and he seems to have concentrated much more upon his work as a printmaker. He was still in Margaret’s service when he is described as dead in an inventory of her paintings taken on the 17 July 1516.13

Despite his small painted œuvre and relatively short span of activity, there can be no doubt that de’ Barbari was to be an enormously important figure in the crosscurrents of artistic exchange between Italy and Germany during the Renaissance. His engravings, with their idealised nude figures, were to prove influential on artists all over Europe, including Dürer himself, but his paintings, despite some remarkable innovations, rather less so. The exact extent to which specific works by de’ Barbari may have influenced Dürer or others remains in the end an open question. This was not after all a one-way process, for once in the north it is clear that de’ Barbari himself adapted his style to accommodate the tastes of his new patrons, adding an Italian idiom to existing northern types. Most importantly, he arrived in Germany at a time when both the Emperor and the leading princes of the Holy Roman Empire were looking to explore new ways of presenting themselves and their cultural politics. In the historical context of the evolution of patronage in these northern Renaissance courts, Jacopo is a seminal figure, opening up a new two-way dialogue with German painters, including the great Dürer himself.

Note on Provenance 

This portrait almost certainly formed part of the collection amassed by Leopold Friedrich Franz III, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (1740–1817) (fig. 8) and may originally have hung in his ‘Gotisches Haus’ at Wörlitz near Dessau (fig. 9), where it is recorded in the nineteenth century. The Prince, known as ‘Father Franz’, was very much an Anglophile and famous for his introduction of the English landscape garden and Palladian country house into German landscape design. He was also responsible for the introduction of the Gothic style (known as ‘Franz Gothic’), of which the Gotsiches Haus is the most famous example. Built between 1773–1813 to the plans of Friedrich Wilhem von Erdmannsdorff, it was modelled on Horace Walpole’s villa at  Strawberry Hill, which Prince Leopold had seen on his travels. An enlightened patron of both the arts and sciences, the Prince owned an extraordinary collection of over 4,500 paintings, part of which was displayed on the upper floor of the house. Though the Anhalt princely collections contained numerous portraits, their descriptions in early catalogues are not very precise, but the present painting can be identified by its inventory number. Undoubtedly the most famous early portrait from this same source is Rogier van der Weyden's celebrated Portrait of a lady today in the National Gallery of Art in Washington.14 This passed by descent at the Gotisches Haus and Schloss Dessau until it was sold by Duke Joachim Ernst to the Bachstitz Gallery in The Hague in 1925. The Duke’s acute financial difficulties had precipitated a series of sales of property and works from the collection to the state of Anhalt.15 This is surely the portrait of Cardinal of Brandenburg that formed part of a group of twenty-one pictures which were offered between 1926 and 1927 to Galerie Heinemann in Munich. It was priced at RM 35,000, but was refused. The apparently unverified Goldschmidt provenance may refer to Arthur Goldschmidt, acting for the gallery J. and S. Goldschmidt in Berlin. Although, as Hevesy points out, there were some five dealerships by that name in the late 1920s in Berlin, Arthur Goldschmidt is much the most likely to have made the acquisition of such an important early work. He negotiated the sale, for example, of Hans Memling’s Lamentation over the dead Christ to the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen in Rotterdam in 1936.

1. J.A. Levenson, ‘Jacopo de’ Barbari’, in The Dictionary of Art, vol. III, London 1996, p. 200.

2. P. Kirn, ‘Friedrich der Weise und Jacopo de’ Barbari’, in Jahrbuch der preusisschen Kunstsammlungen, 26, 1925, p. 134. Several of the words used by Jacopo (such as ‘zorni’) are distinctly Venetic in origin, which would seem to support Dürer’s assertion that he came from Venice.

3. Levenson (1978) includes eleven paintings as autograph in his dissertation. To these Ferrari (2006) adds a further six works he regards as autograph, together with another forty two rejected or doubtful pictures which have been attributed to Jacopo in the past. Böckem lists seven signed paintings, with a further three autograph but unsigned pictures.

4. Böckem 2016, p. 406, no. A1.

5. Servolini 1944, reproduced plate XIV.

6. Inv. No. 7719; 38.4 x 28.6 cm.; Levenson 1978, p. 205, no. 10.

7. Cited by Broos and van Suchtelen 2004, p. 34. The companion panel of the Duke’s consort is untraced.

8. Dal Pozzolo 1999, p. 370.

9. These include those in the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt (1525), the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota (1526), and an undated panel of c. 1527 from a private Swiss collection offered London, Christie’s, 2 July 2013, lot 22.

10. See, for example, B. Böckem, ‘The Young Dürer and Italy: Contact with Italy and the Mobility of artists around 1500’, in The Early Dürer, D. Hess and T. Eser (eds), exh. cat., Nuremberg 2012, pp. 62–64.

11. Böckem 2012, p. 332, no. 51, and Böckem 2016, p. 407, no. 4.

12. Servolini 1944, reproduced plates XVI, XXII and XXIII.

13. The fact that he received an annual pension from her in 1512 in recognition of his ‘weakness and old age’ has led many critics to suggest that his date of birth may have been as early as the mid-fifteenth century.

14. J.O. Hand and M. Wolff, The Collections of the National Gallery of Art. Early Netherlandish Painting, Washington 1986, pp. 241–46, reproduced.

15. See I. Pfeifer, ‘Die herzoglichen Kunstsammlungen in Dessau nach 1918’, in Mitteilungen des vereins für Anhaltische Landeskunde, 23, 2014.