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Bust of a Man in a Hat Gazing Upward

Martin Schongauer (German, Colmar ca. 1435/50–1491 Breisach)

ca. 1480–90
Pen and carbon black ink, over pen and brown ink, on paper prepared with sanguine wash.
5 1/8 x 3 7/8 in. (13 x 9.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Famous even in his lifetime, Martin Schongauer shaped and revitalized German art, integrating it with the achievements of the great Netherlandish masters. While he elevated the engraving technique to a pinnacle of perfection--surpassed only by Albrecht Dürer--Schongauer was also a gifted panel painter and draftsman. The exceedingly rare "Man in a Hat Gazing Upward" is one of few drawings whose attribution to Schongauer is universally embraced. His versatile pen lines of parallel and cross-hatched strokes, dots, and curliques delineate texture and form. The stubble of the aging face, for example, contrasts with the soft collar of fur, in turn offset by the parallel arcs of the hat brim. The physiognomy appears to be that of a character head rather than a portrait; the modeling of the facial features links the drawing to Schongauer's later engravings.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Marking: At lower right, unidentified collector's mark (letters in a circle stamped in black ink). Verso, at lower left, inscribed M + S in pen and brown ink

  • Provenance

    Franz von Sternberg-Manderscheid, Prague; Sternberg-Manderscheid sale, J.G.A. Frenzel, Dresden, 10 November 1845, vol. 5, lot 330 (as Hans Holbein the Elder); Friedrich August II of Saxony (Lugt 971 at lower right on recto), Dresden; his heirs until 1945; private collection, Switzerland; [E. Verchere, Geneva; A. and R. Ball, New York]. Acquired by Robert Lehman through Verchere and Ball in December 1952.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History