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Salvator Mundi

Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg)

Date:
ca. 1505
Medium:
Oil on wood
Dimensions:
22 7/8 x 18 1/2in. (58.1 x 47cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931
Accession Number:
32.100.64
  • Gallery Label

    This picture of Christ as Salvator Mundi, Savior of the World, who raises his right hand in blessing and in his left holds a globe representing the earth, can be appreciated both as a painting and as a drawing. Albrecht Dürer, the premier artist of the German Renaissance, probably began this work shortly before he departed for Italy in 1505, but completed only the drapery. His unusually extensive and meticulous preparatory drawing on the panel is visible in the unfinished portions of Christ's face and hands.

  • Catalogue Entry

    The Salvator Mundi, painted by the premier artist of the German Renaissance, Albrecht Dürer, is highly unusual for its unfinished state and for the unusually extensive underdrawing that is visible especially in the head and hands. As early as 1573, the inventory of the Imhoff collection lists the painting as "Ein Salvator so Albrecht Dürer nit gar ausgemacht" ("A Salvator not quite finished by Albrecht Dürer"). A later owner had the painting completed, but subsequent cleanings before 1906 and in 1939–40 removed the later additions, once more revealing the unfinished portions. Because of this, the work can be appreciated both as a drawing and as a painting.

    For the figure of Christ, Dürer conflated examples from earlier German art, namely an engraving by the Master E.S., and from contemporary Italian paintings by Jacopo de’ Barbari. From the Master E.S.’s engraving, Dürer adopted the pose of Christ: a half-length figure, the right hand raised in blessing and the left holding the orb, with the head of Christ slightly tilted toward the left. The new Renaissance spirit of Dürer’s Christ, however, was inspired by the art of Jacopo de’ Barbari. Jacopo had come from Venice to work for Emperor Maximilian I in Nuremberg in 1500—where Dürer could have encountered him—and later for Frederick III the Wise, Elector of Saxony, in Wittenberg. Around 1503 Jacopo made two paintings of Christ (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, and Schlossmuseum, Weimar). Both show a frontal Christ, who addresses the viewer with slightly open mouth as if to speak; his hair falls in loose ringlets to the shoulders and his beard is a mass of tight curls. The richly saturated colors of red and blue of Christ’s cloak and robe in the Weimar example mark an Italian palette readily adopted by Dürer. The evident combination of composition and stylistic features from both early German print-making and Italian examples places this Salvator Mundi relatively early in Dürer’s career, ca. 1504–5. This would have been just prior to Dürer’s trip to Venice in the late fall of 1505 that was precipitated in part by the outbreak of the plague in Nuremberg. Such a hasty departure may have been the reason for the unfinished state of the picture.

    The underdrawings in Dürer’s paintings are seldom so fully worked up, a striking exception being the Self-portrait in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich, in which he likewise took over the exacting technique he had developed for engraving. The dense passages of parallel and cross-hatching in pen in the shadow areas of the head of Christ are further worked up with another layer of curved strokes in brush that indicate the cavity of the neck. The complexity of the underdrawing compares closely to the hand and drapery studies that Dürer produced in preparation for the Feast of the Rosegarlands, his first major commission after arriving in Venice.

    [2011]

  • Provenance

    ?Estate of Albrecht Dürer, Nuremberg; sold by Ursula Dürer to Imhoff; Willibald Imhoff, Nuremberg (by 1573 [probably before 1564]–d. 1580; inv., 1573–74, no. 2; inv., 1580, no. 2); Imhoff family, Nuremberg (1580–1750; by descent through marriage to Haller); Christoph Joachim Freiherr Haller von Hallerstein, Nuremberg (1750–d. 1792); his son, Hans Christoph Joachim Freiherr Haller von Hallerstein, Nuremberg (1792–d. 1814); his brother, Johann Sigmund Christoph Joachim Freiherr Haller von Hallerstein, Nuremberg (1814–d. 1838; his estate, 1838–61; sold to Geuder); [Georg Friedrich Geuder, Nuremberg, 1861; sold for fl. 40 to Finke]; [Gustav Finke, Bamberg, 1861]; Franz R. Reichardt, Munich (1861–69); Alexander Posonyi, Vienna (1869–at least 1873); Eugen Ferdinand Felix, Leipzig (by 1880–d. 1888); his son, Hans E. C. Felix, Leipzig (1888–about 1904); Charles Fairfax Murray, London (by 1906–14; on loan to Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 1911–14; his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, June 15, 1914, no. 8, for Fr 2,000 to Kleinberger); [Kleinberger, Paris and New York, 1914–21; sold to Friedsam]; Michael Friedsam, New York (1921–d. 1931)

  • Exhibition History

    Munich. Königliches Kunstausstellungsgebäude. "Gemälden älterer Meister," 1869, no. 60 (lent by Reichardt, Munich).

    Vienna. Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie. "Gemälde alter Meister aus dem Wiener Privatbesitze," August–September 1873, no. 190 (lent by Alex. Posonyi).

    Leipzig. Kunstgewerbe-Museum. "Ausstellung von Werken alten Kunstgewerbes aus Sächsisch-Thüringischem Privatbesitz," June–October 1897, no. 1113 (lent by Hans Felix, Leipzig).

    London. Burlington Fine Arts Club. "Early German Art," 1906, no. 38 (lent by C. Fairfax Murray).

    London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Winter Exhibition," January 7–March 16, 1907, no. 7 (lent by C. Fairfax Murray).

    London. Grafton Galleries. "National Loan Exhibition," October 1909–January 1910, no. 73 (lent by C. Fairfax Murray, Esq.).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Michael Friedsam Collection," November 15, 1932–April 9, 1933, no catalogue.

    Indianapolis. John Herron Art Museum. "Holbein and His Contemporaries," October 22–December 24, 1950, no. 21.

    Nuremberg. Germanisches Nationalmuseum. "Albrecht Dürer, 1471–1971," May 21–August 1, 1971, no. 192.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Gothic and Renaissance Art in Nuremberg, 1300–1550," April 8–June 22, 1986, no. 118.

    Nuremberg. Germanisches Nationalmuseum. "Nürnberg 1300–1550: Kunst der Gotik und Renaissance," July 24–September 28, 1986, no. 118.

    Vienna. Graphische Sammlung Albertina. "Albrecht Dürer," September 5–November 30, 2003, no. 84.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Left Unfinished by Albrecht Dürer," January 11–March 27, 2005, no catalogue.

  • References

    Willibald Imhoffs Kunstinventar. 1573–74, fol. 27 recto, no. 2 [Stadtbibliothek, Nuremberg; published in Horst Pohl, "Willibald Imhoff, Enkel und Erbe Willibald Pirckheimers," in Quellen zur Geschichte und Kultur der Stadt Nürnberg 24 (1992), p. 80], as "der Salvator, so Albrecht Durer nit gar ausgemacht hat, kost mich selbst fl 30".

    Nachlaßinventar Willibald Imhoff. 1580, no. 2 [Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Historisches Archiv; published in Horst Pohl, "Willibald Imhoff, Enkel und Erbe Willibald Pirckheimers," in Quellen zur Geschichte und Kultur der Stadt Nürnberg 24 (1992), p. 298].

    Testament of Willibald Imhoff. January 26, 1580 [Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Sammlung Merkel; published in Ref. Budde 1996], states that "ain Salvator von Albrecht Dürrers hand . . . soll forthin immerdar bey dem hauß unzertrent und unvertailt bleiben".

    Anna Imhoff. Letter to Emperor Rudolf II. December 30, 1588, no. 2 [published in Ref. Heller 1827], as "Ein Salvator, ist das letzte Stück, so er gemacht hat".

    Johann Hauer. List of paintings by Dürer. [before 1660], no. 19 [published in Ref. Will 1764 and Ref. Murr 1787], includes a "Salvator, noch nicht absolvirt" in the collection of Hans Imhoff the Elder in Nuremberg, probably this picture.

    Georg Andreas Will. Der Nürnbergischen Münz-Belüstigungen. 1, Altdorf, 1764, p. ?, publishes Ref. Hauer n.d.

    Christoph Gottlieb von Murr. Journal zur Kunstgeschichte und zur allgemeinen Litteratur 14 (1787), p. 101, publishes Ref. Hauer n.d., this time describing the picture as "Salvator, welcher noch nicht fertig" [see Ref. Will 1764 for the first publication of Hauer's list].

    Joseph Heller. Das Leben une die Werke Albrecht Dürer's. 2, part 1, Bamberg, 1827, pp. 79, 229, publishes the list of works by Dürer that Anna, widow of Willibald Imhoff, offered to Emperor Rudolf II in 1588 [based on Johann Karl Sigmund Kiefhaber, "Nachrichten zur ältern und neuern Geschichte der freyen Reichsstadt Nürnberg," Nuremberg, vol. 1, 1803, pp. 1–18, 75–77], mentioning an unfinished "Salvator," probably this work; notes that the picture was in the possession of Hans Imhoff in 1650 [sic; see Ref. Budde 1996, p. 338].

    A[ugust]. v[on]. Eye. Leben und Wirken Albrecht Dürer's. Nördlingen, Germany, 1860, p. 455 and Appendix, publishes the Imhoff inventories, referring to an unfinished "Salvator"; is unaware that the painting is still extant.

    "Kunst-Chronik: München." Die Dioskuren: deutsche Kunstzeitung Hauptorgan der deutschen Kunstvereine 7 (January 19, 1862), p. 19, reports that it was found in June 1861 in the attic of the Haller house in Nuremberg, whereafter it was sold unrecognized to a "Raritätenhandler" for a very low price; states that it was then bought by "der bekannte Kunsthändler Finke" and sold by him to the Bildrestaurator Reichardt in Munich; mentions an inscription in ink on the back; identifies it as the picture mentioned in the Imhoff inventory of 1573–74 and in the Imhoff letter to Rudolf II of 1588.

    A[ugust]. v[on]. Eye. "Eine Kirchenfahne von A. Dürer." Anzeiger für Kunde der deutschen Vorzeit, n.s., 9 (February 1862), col. 47, notes that the painting has entered the Reichardt collection in Munich.

    "Zwei Albrecht Dürer-Funde." Recensionen und Mittheilingen über bildende Kunst 1 (1862), p. 15.

    J. Sighart. Geschichte der bildenden Künste im Königreich Bayern. Munich, 1862, pp. 626–27, ill. (woodcut), identifies this painting with the one listed in the Imhoff inventories; calls it Dürer's last, unfinished painting; states that the present owner is the painter Reichardt in Munich, and cites an earlier Haller and Imhoff provenance.

    A[ugust]. v[on]. Eye. Leben und Wirken Albrecht Dürer's. 2nd ed. [1st ed., 1860]. Nördlingen, Germany, 1869, pp. 455, 532, and Appendix, states that in 1861 it passed from the Haller family collection through several hands into that of F. R. Reichardt.

    Austellung von Gemälden älterer Meister. Exh. cat., Königliches Kunstausstellungsgebäude. Munich, 1869, p. 22, no. 60, calls it Dürer's last work, citing the Imhoff inventories; gives Pirckheimer as a former owner, quoting the inscription on its reverse as "diess Bild von Alb. Dürer hat Imhof vom Birckheimer und ich vom Imhof, Haller von Hallerstein"; states that it appears in a seventeenth-century inventory of the Haller von Hallerstein collection.

    Wilhelm Schmidt. "Die Ausstellung älterer Gemälde im Kunstausstellungsgebäude zu München." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst 4 (1869), pp. 357–58, notes that it had two owners after leaving the Haller von Hallerstein estate and before entering the Reichardt collection in Munich.

    Katalog der Gemälde alter Meister aus dem Wiener Privatbesitze. Exh. cat., K. K. Österreichisches Museum. Vienna, 1873, p. 50, no. 190, as lent by Alex. Posonyi.

    O[skar]. Eisenmann. "Die Ausstellung von Gemälden alter Meister aus dem Wiener Privatbesitz." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst 9 (1874), pp. 155–56, agrees with Cavalcaselle that the picture is not Dürer's last work, but rather dates from his second Venetian trip [Cavalcaselle reference not located].

    Moriz Thausing. Dürer: Geschichte seines Lebens und seiner Kunst. Leipzig, 1876, p. 225, like Eisenmann [see Ref. 1874], dismisses the notion that this is Dürer's last painting, stating that it was produced when Dürer was most under the influence of Jacopo de' Barbari; notes that the wings in Bremen, depicting Saint Onuphrius and Saint John the Baptist, are also unfinished and of about the same time, but does not conclude that they may have belonged with our picture.

    A[ugust]. von Eye and P. E. Börner. Die Kunstsammlung von Eugen Felix in Leipzig. Leipzig, 1880, p. 140, Eye records that the old frame bore the Haller coat of arms and the date 1650; gives provenance information; erroneously states both that it was sold at [the Haller] auction, and that the Munich exhibition date was 1868.

    Charles Ephrussi. Albert Dürer et ses dessins. Paris, 1882, p. 360, no. 2, reprints the 1588 list of works offered to Rudolf II by the Imhoffs.

    Robert Vischer. Studien zur Kunstgeschichte. Stuttgart, 1886, p. 221, judging only from the woodcut in Ref. Sighart 1862, suspects it is by Kulmbach; questions whether the "Salvator" mentioned in the Imhoff inventories refers to a picture other than ours which might have formed the center panel of a triptych with the two paintings of the four Evangelists (Alte Pinakothek, Munich).

    Karl Koelitz. Hans Suess v. Kulmbach und seine Werke. Leipzig, 1891, p. 71, rejects Vischer's attribution [see Ref. 1886] to Kulmbach.

    Kunsthistorische Gesellschaft für photographische Publikationen 1 (1895), unpaginated, no. 2, ill. [see Ref. Flechsig 1928, p. 401], erroneously claims that it came on the Nuremberg art market in 1863; quotes the restorer [Alois] Hauser, who claims it was later repainted by the restorer Deschler in Augsburg.

    [Max J.] Friedländer. "Die Ausstellung von Werken alten Kunstgewerbes aus sächsisch-thüringischem Privatbesitz im Grassi-Museum zu Leipzig, Juni bis October 1897." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 20 (1897), pp. 413–14, rejects the attribution to Jacopo de' Barbari, maintaining that the technique is typical of Dürer in the first years of the sixteenth century.

    Ausstellung von Werken alten Kunstgewerbes aus Sächsisch-Thüringischem Privatbesitz. Exh. cat., Kunstgewerbe-Museum. Leipzig, 1897, p. 116, no. 1113, reports that it has recently been attributed to Jacobo [sic] de' Barbari, without any indication as to who made this attribution.

    Ludwig Justi. "Jacopo de' Barbari und Albrecht Dürer." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 21 (1898), pp. 354, 452 n. 22, de-emphasizes Jacopo de' Barbari's influence [see Ref. Thausing 1876].

    M. Zucker. Albrecht Dürer. Halle, 1900, pp. 114, 167 n. 1 to p. 60.

    Valentin Scherer. Dürer. Stuttgart, 1904, ill. p. 17, as formerly in the Felix collection; dates it about 1503.

    Early German Art. Exh. cat., Burlington Fine Arts Club. London, 1906, p. 94, no. 38, pl. XXIII, dates it 1506 or 1507; states that Deschler's repaints have been removed.

    [Max J.] Friedländer. "Die Ausstellung altdeutscher Kunst im Burlington Fine Arts Club zu London—Sommer 1906." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 29 (1906), p. 586, dates it about 1504; as left unfinished by Dürer.

    Charles Ricketts. "German Art: Dürer & His Successors." Burlington Magazine 9 (July 1906), p. 267, describes it as an unfinished work, possibly painted in Venice, noting the influence of Antonello and Cima as well as that of Jacopo de' Barbari; mentions the removal of old restorations in the face.

    Max J. Friedländer in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. 10, Leipzig, 1914, p. 69, dates it "about 1504?".

    E[mil]. Waldmann. Albrecht Dürer. Leipzig, 1916, p. 87, pl. 32, dates it about 1503.

    "Mr. Friedsam Buyer of Famous Dürer." American Art News 20 (December 3, 1921), p. 1, ill. p. 6.

    "Masterpieces from Germany Sold Here." American Art News 20 (November 26, 1921), p. 1.

    Max J. Friedländer. Albrecht Dürer. Leipzig, 1921, p. 98, recognizes the influence of Jacopo de' Barbari and dates it about 1503.

    Pierre du Colombier. Albert Dürer. Paris, 1927, pp. 66–67, 173, consideres it deplorably mannered.

    Michel Benisovitch. "The Dürer Exhibition in Nuremberg." Burlington Magazine 53 (December 1928), p. 330.

    Eduard Flechsig. Albrecht Dürer, sein Leben und seine künstlerische Entwickelung. 1, Berlin, 1928, pp. 400–403, suggests that the panels in Bremen formed the wings of a small triptych with ours as the center panel; dates all three in the summer of 1505, before Dürer departed for Venice.

    Max J. Friedländer in The Michael Friedsam Collection. [completed 1928], p. 131, dates it about 1500, noting the influence of Jacopo de' Barbari.

    A[ndré]. de Hevesy. "Albrecht Dürer und Jacopo de Barbari." Albrecht Dürer, Festschrift der internationalen Dürer-Forschung. Leipzig, 1928, p. 35, ill., dates it during the time when Jacopo de' Barbari was in Germany (1500–1503), noting the interchange of influence between him and Dürer.

    Hans Tietze and E. Tietze-Conrat. Kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke Albrecht Dürers. 1, Basel, 1928, pp. 72, no. 244, ill. p. 202, date it about 1503, noting the influence of Jacopo de' Barbari; agree with Flechsig [see Ref. 1928] in connecting it with the Bremen panels; observe dependence of its composition on the engraving of the Salvator Mundi by the Master E.S.

    Friedrich Winkler. Dürer, des Meisters Gemälde Kupferstiche und Holzschnitte. Stuttgart, [1928], p. 411, ill. p. 30, without having seen the picture, reports critics to have stated that the face is three-quarters new.

    Bryson Burroughs and Harry B. Wehle. "The Michael Friedsam Collection: Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27, section 2 (November 1932), pp. 29–30, no. 44, date it about 1505, accepting Flechsig's reconstruction [see Ref. 1928] with the Bremen panels.

    Hans Tietze. "Dürer in Amerika." Anzeiger des germanischen Nationalmuseums (1932–33), p. 92 [reprinted in English in Art Bulletin 15 (September 1933), p. 263, fig. 20], dates it about 1503.

    Wilhelm Waetzoldt. Dürer und seine Zeit. Vienna, 1935, p. 295, calls it unbearably sweet.

    Charles L. Kuhn. A Catalogue of German Paintings of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in American Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1936, p. 54, no. 200, pl. XXXVII, dates it about 1503, accepting the reconstruction with the Bremen panels.

    Harry B. Wehle. "Preparatory Drawing on a Panel by Dürer." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1 (December 1942), pp. 156–64, ill. (overall and details), dates it about 1505, accepting its connection with the Bremen panels, noting, however, stylistic and technical differences between it and the wings; suggests that the Salvator was left unfinished before Dürer's departure for Venice in 1505, and that the Bremen wings were worked on in Venice about a year later and left unfinished; perceives in the figural type of the Saint Onuphrius the influence of Giovanni Bellini's San Giobbe altarpiece in the Accademia in Venice.

    Erwin Panofsky. Albrecht Dürer. Princeton, 1943, vol. 1, p. 94; vol. 2, pp. 9, 12, no. 18, dates it 1503–4, noting influence of Jacopo de' Barbari and possibly also of Leonardo da Vinci; rejects the triptych reconstruction because of the incongruity of the backgrounds.

    Erwin Panofsky. "Dürer's Last Picture?" Burlington Magazine 89 (March 1947), p. 63 n. 13, notes that its history of ownership is still in need of clarification, particularly concerning its absence in a 1628 [sic for 1630] list of paintings by Dürer in the Imhoff collection and the circumstances of its reappearance in or about 1860 and its vicissitudes between then and 1862.

    Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, pp. 180–82, ill.

    Holbein and His Contemporaries. Exh. cat., John Herron Art Museum. Indianapolis, 1950, unpaginated, no. 21, ill.

    H[einrich]. Th[eodor]. Musper. Albrecht Dürer: Der gegenwärtige Stand der Forschung. Stuttgart, 1953, p. 174, accepts the reconstruction with the Bremen panels and regards as reliable the date 1504 on the Saint Onuphrius.

    A. Hyatt Mayor. "The Gifts that Made the Museum." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (November 1957), p. 106.

    Friedrich Winkler. Albrecht Dürer: Leben und Werk. Berlin, 1957, p. 138, notes the difference between the drawing in this work and in the Bremen panels.

    H[einrich]. T[heodor]. Musper. Albrecht Dürer. New York, [1966], pp. 24, 88, ill. p. 89 (color), dates it before the autumn of 1505.

    Angela Ottino della Chiesa. The Complete Paintings of Dürer. New York, 1968, p. 100, no. 100, ill., dates it 1503–4.

    Fedja Anzelewsky. Albrecht Dürer: Das Malerische Werk. Berlin, 1971, pp. 39, 70, 89, 185–86, no. 83, pls. 91(triptych reconstruction), 93, accepts the reconstruction with the Bremen panels, dating all three shortly before Dürer's departure for Venice in the autumn of 1505; proposes an integrated iconographic program for the triptych in which Christ is flanked on the left by his precursor, the Baptist, and on the right by the follower and imitator Onuphrius who, like the Baptist, retreated to the wilderness.

    Matthias Mende. "Albrecht Dürer 1471–1971: A Great Exhibition in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg, May 21 to August 1." Connoisseur 176 (March 1971), p. 165, ill. p. 171 (color), endorses the triptych reconstruction.

    Albrecht Dürer, 1471–1971. Exh. cat., Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg. Munich, 1971, pp. 110, 112, no. 192, dates it 1503–4.

    Peter Strieder. Dürer. Milan, 1976, p. 183, no. 25, ill. [English ed., "The Hidden Dürer," Chicago, 1978].

    Ugo Ruggeri. Dürer. Woodbury, N.Y., 1979, pp. 32, 34, unpaginated catalogue section, colorpl. 11, believes the work "derives its theoretical disposition from a Venetian prototype such as Carpaccio or Alvise Barbarini"; calls Christ's smile Leonardesque.

    Fedja Anzelewsky. Dürer: Werk und Wirkung. Stuttgart, 1980, p. 123.

    Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 260, 263, fig. 472 (color).

    Peter Strieder. Dürer. Königstein, 1981, p. 297, ill. p. 299 (color), dates it about 1503; doubts the triptych reconstruction and thinks the Bremen panels date to about 1497–98.

    Klaus H. Jürgens. "Neue Forschungen zu dem Münchener Selbstbildnis des Jahres 1500 von Albrecht Dürer (I)." Kunsthistorisches Jahrbuch Graz 19/20 (1983/84), pp. 181–82, 189 nn. 68, 71–72, notes similarities, especially in proportion, between it and the "Self-portrait" of 1500 (Alte Pinakothek, Munich).

    Hilton Brown. "Looking at Paintings." American Artist 48 (April 1984), pp. 62, 94–96, ill. pp. 62, 63 (overall and color detail), speculates that Dürer may have used a mix of oil and tempera.

    Klaus H. Jürgens. "Neue Forschungen zu dem Münchener Selbstbildnis des Jahres 1500 von Albrecht Dürer (II, III)." Kunsthistorisches Jahrbuch Graz 21 (1985), pp. 158–59.

    Kurt Löcher in Gothic and Renaissance Art in Nuremberg, 1300–1550. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1986, p. 290, no. 118, fig. 129 (reconstruction of altarpiece), ill. p. 291 (color) [German ed., "Nürnberg 1300–1550: Kunst der Gotik und Renaissance," Nuremberg, 1986, pp. 290, 293, no. 118, fig. 129 (reconstruction of altarpiece) and ill. p. 291 (color)], dates it about 1503–4; notes Dürer's indebtedness to the Master E.S. and to Italian sources; raises doubts about the triptych reconstruction, suggesting that the Bremen panels date from before 1500.

    Corinna Höper. Die Gemälde des 14. bis 18. Jahrhunderts in der Kunsthalle Bremen. Bremen, 1990, p. 124, accepts the triptych reconstruction.

    Fedja Anzelewsky. Albrecht Dürer: Das Malerische Werk. rev. ed. [first ed., 1971]. Berlin, 1991, text vol., pp. 37, 70, 90, 189–90, no. 83; plate vol., colorpl. 88, pl. 89 (reconstruction of altarpiece).

    Doris Kutschbach. Albrecht Dürer: die Altäre. Stuttgart, 1995, p. 99, supports the triptych reconstruction, referring to the MMA and Bremen panels as constituting a small, unfinished "Andachtsbild".

    Alexander Löhr. Studien zu Hans von Kulmbach als Maler. Würzburg, 1995, p. 83.

    Hendrik Budde. Die Kunstsammlung des Nürnberger Patriziers Willibald Imhoff unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Werke Albrecht Dürers. Münster, 1996, pp. 118, 136, 142–44, 338, no. G/3, states that it probably belonged to Dürer's estate and may have been among the paintings sold by Dürer's sister-in-law Ursula to Willibald Imhoff in 1557; gives other provenance information.

    Ernst Rebel. Albrecht Dürer: Maler und Humanist. Munich, 1996, pp. 164–65, fig. 47.

    Andreas Burmester and Christoph Krekel. "The Relationship Between Albrecht Dürer's Palette and Fifteenth/Sixteenth-Century Price Lists: The Use of Azurite and Ultramarine." Painting Techniques, History, Materials and Studio Practice: Contributions to the Dublin Congress, 7–11 September 1998. London, 1998, pp. 101, 103.

    Jill Dunkerton. "North and South: Painting Techniques in Renaissance Venice." Renaissance Venice and the North: Crosscurrents in the Time of Bellini, Dürer and Titian. Exh. cat., Palazzo Grassi, Venice. Milan, 1999, p. 101, claims the support is poplar, and that the robe consists largely of ultramarine; proposes that it was painted in Venice.

    Andrea Kirsh and Rustin S. Levenson. Seeing Through Paintings: Physical Examination in Art Historical Studies. New Haven, 2000, p. 265.

    M[atthias]. Mende in Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon: die bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker. 30, Munich, 2001, p. 301.

    Underdrawings in Renaissance Paintings. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2002, pp. 11–12, fig. 5, as more likely started in Italy and left incomplete when Dürer returned to Nuremberg.

    Claus Grimm. Meister oder Schüler?: Berühmte Werke auf dem Prüfstand. Stuttgart, 2002, p. 51, figs. 78–79 (color, overall and detail), states that the anatomical clarity and graphic sureness in the underdrawing rule out any workshop assistance.

    Maryan W. Ainsworth in Albrecht Dürer. Exh. cat., Graphische Sammlung Albertina. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany, 2003, pp. 298–302, 542–43, no. 84, ill. (color; overall, detail, and infrared reflectogram detail), dates it about 1504–5; calling for detailed examination of the MMA panels along with the Bremen panels, leaves open the question of the triptych reconstruction.

    Bertold Freiherr von Haller. E-mail to Marie Luise Sternath. June 1, 2003, believes it to have been with the Imhoff family until about 1750.

    Katherine Crawford Luber in Albrecht Dürer. Exh. cat., Albertina, Vienna. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany, 2003, pp. 81, 84–85, ill. p. 80 (color detail), mentions it as an example of Dürer's early style of underdrawing, marked by dense parallel- and crosshatching and distinct from his later, looser style.

    Heinz Widauer in Albrecht Dürer. Exh. cat., Albertina, Vienna. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany, 2003, p. 478, under no. 167, erroneously states that it was offered for sale to Elector Maximilian I of Bavaria along with the "Virgin and Child with Saint Anne" (MMA 14.40.633).

    Konstantin Akinsha. "Estonia Returns Missing Dürer." Art News 103 (February 2004), p. 52, ill. (color), as part of a triptych with the Bremen panels.

    Anne Röver-Kann. Albrecht Dürer: Der heilige Johannes—aus Tallinn zurück! Der heilige Onuphrius und andere Eremiten. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bremen. Bremen, 2004, pp. 7, 23, 25–26, 30 nn. 76, 89, p. 31 nn. 91–95; fig. 33, doubts the triptych reconstruction and calls for technical investigation of the three panels; suspects that it was not commissioned by a patron but painted as part of an entrepreneurial effort to meet the demand for small devotional images.

    Jutta Zander-Seidel in Faszination Meisterwerk : Dürer, Rembrandt, Riemenschneider. Exh. cat., Germanisches Nationalmuseum. Nuremberg, 2004, pp. 59, 61.

    Bertold Freiherr von Haller. E-mails to Joshua Waterman. January–February 2005, specifies that 1750 is the only date when the picture could have passed from the Imhoffs to the Hallers; suspects the inscription on the reverse mentioned in 1862 and 1869 was a forgery; believes the 1869 reference [see Ref. Munich 1869] to a seventeenth-century Haller inventory mentioning the painting was a mistake; doubts the authenticity of the frame dated 1650 with a Haller coat of arms.

    Katherine Crawford Luber. Albrecht Dürer and the Venetian Renaissance. Cambridge, 2005, pp. 8–9, 17–18, 36–37, 84, 130, 190 n. 25, 208 n. 26, figs. 1, 7–8 (overall, infrared detail, and IRR assembly).

    Gunnar Heydenreich. Lucas Cranach the Elder: Painting Materials, Techniques and Workshop Practice. [Amsterdam], 2007, p. 211.

    Gunnar Heydenreich in Cranach der Ältere. Exh. cat., Städel Museum. Frankfurt, 2007, pp. 44, 46, fig. 37 (color).

    Antonio Mazzotta. Giovanni Bellini's Dudley Madonna. London, 2012, p. 50, fig. 28 (color), relates it to Bellini's Dudley Madonna (private collection).



  • Notes

    This may have been intended as the central panel of a small altarpiece, the wings of which were two similarly unfinished panels: a Saint Onuphrius and a Saint John the Baptist, both in the Kunsthalle, Bremen. The Saint John the Baptist was believed to have been lost during World War II; it was recently rediscovered in Estonia.

    The 1869 Munich exhibition catalogue reports that an old label once on the reverse of the picture, attached by Haller von Hallerstein, recorded that Haller got the picture from Willibald Imhoff and that Imhoff got it from [Willibald] Pirckheimer. Imhoff was Pirckheimer's grandson. However, it is unlikely that Imhoff got it from Pirckheimer as he probably would have said so in the 1573 inventory if he had. On the contrary, Imhoff there records that the Salvator "kost mich Selbst 30 fl" (cost me personally 30 guldens).

  • See also
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