Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Album of Tournaments and Parades in Nuremberg

late 16th–mid-17th century
German, Nuremberg
Pen and ink, watercolor, gold and silver washes; paper bound in gold-tooled leather
cover: 14 x 10 3/8 in. (35.56 x 26.35 cm); page: 13 5/8 x 9 7/8 in. (34.61 x 25.08 cm)
Books & Manuscripts
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1922
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373
This 112-sheet manuscript includes depictions of contestants equipped for various tournaments; a parade preceding a late form of tournament called a carrousel; participants in tournaments known as Gesellenstrechen, or bachelors' jousts, held in Nuremberg between 1446 and 1561; and depictions of pageant sleighs, some of which were used in a parade held in the winter of 1640–41. The illustrations are probably the work of a Briefmaler, or letter painter, who also would have written and embellished official documents and painted coats-of-arms.

In many instances, the names of the tournament participants are written above them. They are armed for the Gestech, the joust fought with blunt lances. A helmet and a four-pronged lance head similar to those in the album are also on display in gallery 373 (acc. nos. 29.156.67a, 42.50.40). Albums such as this provide an invaluable record of the jousters' colorful costumes, fanciful crests, and humorous, often satirical emblems that decorated the jouster's shields and horse trappings.
#4429: Album of Tournaments and Parades in Nuremberg
: / 
#824: Kids: Album of Tournaments and Parades in Nuremberg
: / 
For Audio Guide tours and information, visit
[Edouard Rouveyre, Paris, until 1921; sold to MMA].
Paris. Musée Historique du Costume. "Union Centrale des Beaux-Arts Appliqués a l'Industrie, Quatrième Exposition," 1874, no. 58.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1400–1700," April 3–September 3, 2012.

Union Centrale des Beaux-Arts appliqués à l'Industrie. Exposition 1874: Musée Historique Du Costume. Paris, 1874. p. 58.

Union Centrale des Beaux-Arts appliqués à l'Industrie. Catalogue des Oeuvres et des Produits Modernes Exposés au Palais de l'Industrie, par l'Union Centrale des Beaux-Arts Appliqués à l'Industrie, Quatrième Exposition, 1874. Paris: A. Chaix et Cie, 1874. p. 58.

Mummenhoff, Ernst. Das Rathaus in Nürnberg. Nuremberg: J. L. Schrag, 1891. pp. 152–53.

Spitzer, Frédéric. La Collection Spitzer: Antiquite, Moyen-Age, Renaissance. Vol. 2. Paris: Maison Quantin, 1891. vol. 2, p. 360, no. 34.

Chevallier, Paul. Catalogue des Objets d'Art et de Haute Curiosité: Antiques, du Moyen-âge & de la Renaissance, Composant l'Importante et Précieuse Collection Spitzer. Vol. 2. Paris: Chevallier and Mannheim, April 17–June 16, 1893. vol. 2, p. 226, no. 3036.

Barbeck, Hugo. Alt-Nürnberg: Kulturgeschichtliche Bilder aus Nürnbergs Vergangenheit. Nuremberg: Verlag von Heerdegen-Barbect, 1894. pl. 1 (a similar tournament book).

Dean, Bashford. "An Early Tournament Book." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 17, no. 6 (June 1922). pp. 124–26, ill.

Nickel, Helmut. Ullstein-Waffenbuch: Eine Kulturhistorische Waffenkunde. Mit Markenverzeichnis. Berlin: Ullstein, 1974. p. 88, ill.

Luther, Martin, Christiane Andersson, and Charles Talbot. From a Mighty Fortress: Prints, Drawings, and Books in the Age of Luther, 1483–1546. Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts, 1983. no. 16 (similar tournament books discussed).

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49, no. 1 (Summer, 1991). pp. 4, 64, ill.

Kammel, Frank Matthias. "Von Schlitten und vom Schlittenfahren: Beiträge zu einem kulturgeschichtlichen Forschungsfeld." Anzeiger Des Germanischen Nationalmuseums (2008). pp. 113–15, fig. 7.

Nickel, Helmut, and Dirk H. Breiding. "A Book of Tournaments and Parades from Nuremberg." Metropolitan Museum Journal 45 (2010). pp. 125–86, ill.

Alsteens, Stijn, Freyda Spira, and Maryan W. Ainsworth. Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1400–1700. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. pp. 162–65, no. 74, ill.

Pyhrr, Stuart W. "Of Arms and Men: Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan, 1912–2012." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 70, no. 1 (Summer 2012). pp. 29–30, fig. 45.

Related Objects

Armor of Emperor Ferdinand I (1503–1564)

Artist: Kunz Lochner (German, Nuremberg, 1510–1567) Date: dated 1549 Medium: Steel, brass, leather Accession: 33.164a–x On view in:Gallery 371

Helm for the Joust of Peace (Stechhelm)

Date: ca. 1500 Medium: Steel, copper alloy Accession: 29.156.67a On view in:Gallery 373

Morion for the Bodyguard of the Prince-Elector of Saxony

Date: ca. 1570 Medium: Steel, gold, brass, leather Accession: 14.25.649 On view in:Gallery 371

Morion for the Bodyguard of the Prince-Elector of Saxony

Date: ca. 1570 Medium: Steel, gold, brass, leather Accession: 14.25.652 On view in:Gallery 371

Powder Flask

Artist: Jeremias Ritter (German, recorded 1605–46) Date: ca. 1610 Medium: Staghorn, silver, gold Accession: 29.170 On view in:Gallery 375