Dürer traveled to Italy from 1505–7, in particular to Venice, where he drew many inspirations for his art. Venetian painting encouraged Dürer’s interest in rich color and meticulous attention to detail, as well as simplicity of form. Dürer’s haunting devotional painting depicts Saint Anne, the Virgin Mary’s mother, who was particularly venerated in Germany, with the Virgin and Child. Anne’s hand on her daughter's shoulder takes on a consolatory meaning, and her distant gaze suggests a premonition of Christ's Passion. Although this panel’s date and monogram were added later, the date is likely accurate.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.
Fig. 1. X-radiograph
Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.
Fig. 2. Painting in frame: overall
Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.
Fig. 3. Painting in frame: corner
Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.
Fig. 4. Painting in frame: angled corner
Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.
Fig. 5. Profile drawing of frame. W 3 13/16 in. 9.7 cm (T. Newbery)
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Title:Virgin and Child with Saint Anne
Artist:Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg)
Medium:Oil on linden
Dimensions:23 5/8 x 19 5/8 in. (60 x 49.8 cm)
Credit Line:Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913
This well-preserved and haunting picture is a mature work by the greatest German artist of the Renaissance. The subject, referred to in German as Anna selbdritt (literally "Anne in a group of three"), gained widespread popularity in the second half of the fifteenth century due to the flourishing cult of Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary. This painting departs from the traditional formulas, in which Anne is shown seated, supporting the Christ Child on one knee and the Virgin Mary on the other, or, if standing, holding them in her arms. Dürer has placed Anne higher in the picture field, and the breadth of her headdress gives her a certain monumentality, but all the figures are depicted in natural proportion. By cropping them to half length and bust length, Dürer obviates compositional problems commonly associated with Anna selbdritt groups.
In most representations of Anna selbdritt Christ holds a symbol such as an apple (Christ’s atonement for original sin) or grapes (Eucharistic wine/Christ’s blood). The motif of the sleeping infant, foreshadowing his death, was probably inspired by the work of Giovanni Bellini, which Dürer knew from his trips to Venice. The blue tones in the shadows of the infant’s face create a pallor which emphasizes the allusion to death. Anne’s hand on her daughter's shoulder takes on a consolatory meaning, and her distant gaze suggests a premonition of Christ's Passion. By these means Dürer has greatly enhanced the meditational effectiveness of the image.
The picture was probably commissioned by the Nuremberg patrician Leonhard Tucher (1487–1568), and it remained with the Tucher family until 1628. In 1630, the great Dürer collector Maximilian I, elector of Bavaria, purchased the painting as part of a sustained acquisition campaign that brought numerous important works by Dürer to Munich. Yet this happened only after he had rejected the work as a copy upon initial inspection in 1628, and even the entry in the 1630 inventory of the electoral Kammergalerie contains a remark doubting whether the work was entirely by Dürer's hand. The painting remained in the electoral, then royal, Bavarian collections until 1852, when, apparently demoted to the status of a copy, it was included in a substantial sale of paintings from Schloss Schleißheim and bought by the sculptor and collector Joseph Otto Entres.
Shown in Munich in 1854, after it had been cleaned, it was hailed in the press as a sensational rediscovery. However, one laudatory article in the Deutsches Kunstblatt by the art historian Ernst Förster prompted a vehement rebuttal by Gustav Friedrich Waagen (1854), director of the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, who firmly rejected Dürer’s authorship. The attribution issues were complicated by the known existence of several copies of this composition, one of which also had been included in the 1852 Schleißheim sale. The dispute between Waagen and Förster, carried out in subsequent issues of the Kunstblatt, long remained the definitive record of the work, which, after its 1867 sale by Entres, spent the next several decades in the collection of Ivan Kuris in Odessa, less accessible to Dürer scholarship.
A renewed assessment began upon the painting’s appearance in Dresden, where Ivan Kuris’s widow brought it about 1909. Max J. Friedländer offered his full endorsement of authenticity to the dealer Joseph Duveen, who took the painting to the United States in 1911. For many decades to follow, Dürer’s authorship was unanimously accepted, until 2002, when Claus Grimm maintained on formal and technical grounds that the painting is an accomplished workshop production based on preparatory drawings by Dürer.
However, The Met's work is entirely typical of Dürer’s style and technique in the years around 1520. Contrary to previous statements in the literature, is also very well preserved. Saint Anne’s eyes show Dürer’s typical placement of catchlights opposite a minute, crisp reflection along the inner rim of the iris. Also, the shadows of Anne’s headdress and Mary’s dress were worked up with the heel or side of the painter’s hand—a modeling technique that has been observed on other works by Dürer. Numerous close correspondences in style, motifs, and technique to contemporary paintings, drawings, and prints by the artist make an attribution to Dürer himself all but certain. However, recent technical examination suggests that the date and monogram on the picture were added later. Nevertheless, a date of 1519 was documented by the time of Elector Maximilian’s acquisition in 1630. There is also a surviving study by Dürer—a brush drawing of Saint Anne on gray prepared paper, for which the artist's wife, Agnes, sat as the model—signed and dated 1519 (Albertina, Vienna). Similarities to this and numerous works dating around that time indicate that The Met's picture dates from that year.
[2012; adapted from Waterman in Ainsworth and Waterman 2013]
The support is a linden panel with the grain oriented horizontally. Past intervention makes it impossible to discern the number of boards that compose the panel. There are several splits in the support along the wood grain in the middle third of the panel. At some point prior to entering the collection, the panel was thinned to approximately .5 centimeters and attached to a support composed of a walnut veneer and a three-layer plywood sheet; mahogany strips were attached to the perimeter of the whole composite. A mahogany cradle probably dating to the early twentieth century is attached to the verso.
A barbe along all four edges indicates that the composition retains its original dimensions and that an engaged frame was in place when the white ground preparation was applied. Along the very edge of the perimeter, there are fragments of linear indentations, which may be the remnants of an original score line along the border between the paint surface and a frame. Wide beveling in the surface plane along the entire perimeter may have been imposed when the preparation layers were pared down to sharpen the division between the pane and the engaged frame.
The painting is signed with an ad monogram set beneath the date "1519." Although a similar double-stroke style of monogram is seen in other paintings associated with Dürer, neither the monogram nor the date can be original because the finely divided pigments used are characteristic of a post-1850 industrial manufacturing process.
The paint layers are generally in good condition. A few tiny paint losses are scattered throughout. Residues of a dark toning layer, removed in the nineteenth century after the painting left the royal Bavarian collection at Schleißheim, can be seen under high magnification. They manifest as minute, round, brown black deposits lodged in and along the craquelure. With the exception of a few strokes concealing slight abrasion in the child’s flesh, restoration is limited to the small losses and the abrasion in the background.
The paint layers were built up using small strokes that feather the colors into each other and often follow the form of the object depicted. This is especially noticeable in the shadows on the faces. In the shadows of Saint Anne’s drapery the glazes were applied with the side of a hand, and similar marks can be seen in the red lake glazes on Mary’s dress. Many bright red fibers are present in the passages containing red lake because the pigment was manufactured from red-dyed wool or silk cloth. The background has a brownish cast that is possibly due to a degradation commonly seen in paint layers composed of copper-containing green pigments. It is likely that the background was originally a more brilliant, saturated green. Infrared reflectography revealed a few faint contour lines of underdrawing in the hands. They were apparently done with a dry material and are positioned slightly differently from the final painted forms.
[2013; adapted from German Paintings catalogue]
Inscription: Inscribed (right center): 1519 / AD [monogram and date are later additions]
Leonhard Tucher, Nuremberg (from about 1519–d. 1568); his son, Paul IV Tucher, Nuremberg (1568–d. 1603; inv., 1604, presumably this picture); his son, Leonhard II Tucher, Nuremberg (from 1603); Gabriel III Tucher, Nuremberg (until d. 1628); Hans von Furtenbach, Nuremberg (1628–30; sold to Maximilian); Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, Munich (1630–d. 1651); Electors of Bavaria, later [from 1806] Kings of Bavaria, Residenz, Munich, later Schloß Schleißheim, Oberschleißheim, Germany (1651–1852; their sale, Munich, April 13–23, 1852, no. 128, for fl. 50 to Entres); [Joseph Otto Entres, Munich, 1852–67; sold for Fr 46,000 to Kuris]; Ivan Iraklievich Kuris, Odessa (1867–d. 1898); his widow, Liubov' Ivanovna Kuris, Odessa and Dresden (1898–1911; sold to Duveen); [Duveen, New York, 1911; sold for $228,890 to Altman]; Benjamin Altman, New York (1911–d. 1913)
Odessa. Imperial Novorossiia University. "Snimki s predmetov i kartin iz sobraniia Iv. Ir. Kurisa, byvshikh na vystavke VI archeologicheskogo s'ezda v Odesse 1884 goda," 1884, no. 12 (lent by Ivan Iraklievich Kuris).
Odessa. Obshchestvo popecheniia o bol'nykh detiakh g. Odessy [Society for the care of sick children in Odessa]. "Katalog vystavki proizvedenii iskusstv i redkikh veschei [Exhibition catalogue of works of art and rare objects]," 1888, no. 294 (lent by Ivan Iraklievich Kuris).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art Treasures of the Metropolitan," November 7, 1952–September 7, 1953, no. 103.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 14, 1970–June 1, 1971, no. 232.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Gothic and Renaissance Art in Nuremberg, 1300–1550," April 8–June 22, 1986, no. 144.
THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT, BY TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION BY THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART.
Lukas Friedrich Behaim. Letter to Augustin Haimbl. November 20/30, 1627 [published in Ref. Bayersdorfer 1910], states that he now has access to a painting that Haimbl had seen in copy at Behaim's house in Nuremburg, probably this picture.
Inventarium der gemalten und anderen Stuckhen, auch vonemmen sachen, so auf der Cammer Galerie zuefünden seind. [1627–30], addendum, no. 18/65 [Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Munich, HR I, 24/67/2; published in Diemer 1980], as "St. Anna vom Albrecht Dürer Anno 1519 gemalt, ist im liecht hoch 2 Schuech 1 Zoll, in die braitte aber 1 Schuech 8 Zoll, ist zue ruckh gezaichnet mit No. 18, ist etwas Zweifel ob es durchauß von deß Düerers handt".
Augustin Haimbl. Letter. April 17, 1628 [published in Ref. Bayersdorfer 1910], notes that the subject of the painting mentioned by Behaim [see Ref. 1627] is Saint Anne, probably this picture.
Lukas Friedrich Behaim. Letter to Wiguleus Widmann. March 20/30, 1630 [published in Ref. Grote 1969], states that Lienhardt [Leonhard] Tucher owned the painting and considered it to be by Dürer.
Sigmund Gabriel Holzschuher. Letter to Wiguleus Widmann. January 22, 1630 [published in Ref. Bayersdorfer 1910], informs Widmann that it then belonged to a Nuremberg wine merchant.
Johann Nepomuck Edler von Weizenfeld. Beschreibung der Churfürstlichen Bildergallerie in Schleisheim. Munich, 1775, p. 38, no. 137, as "Die heilige Anna wie eine Nonne gekleidet. Maria mit dem Kinde Jesu sitzt zu ihren Füßen. Auf Holz 1 Fuß 4 Zoll hoch, 11 1/2 Zoll breit," by Dürer.
Johann Christian von Mannlich. Beschreibung der Churpfalzbaierischen Gemälde-Sammlungen zu München und zu Schleißheim. Munich, 1810, vol. 3, p. 35, no. 1535, as "Die heilige Anna und das schlafende Jesuskind".
Adam Weise. Albrecht Dürer und sein Zeitalter. Leipzig, 1819, p. 96, as "Die heilige Anna und das schlafende Jesuskind. Halbe figuren in Lebensgrösse. Auf Holz. Höhe 4 Fuss 3 Zoll, Breite 3 Fuss 10 Zoll," among works by Dürer at Schleissheim and Lustheim.
Joseph Heller. Das Leben une die Werke Albrecht Dürer's. Vol. 2, part 1, Bamberg, 1827, p. 195, probably based on Mannlich [see Ref. 1810], lists it as a work by Dürer at Schleissheim, and the smaller version (p. 197) also at Schleissheim as a copy after him.
Georg von Dillis. Verzeichniss der Gemälde in der königlich bayerischen Gallerie zu Schleissheim. Munich, 1831, p. 25, no. 136, as "Maria, die heilige Anna und das schlafende Jesuskind.—Halbe Fig. in Lebensgröfse auf Holz. H. 1. 10. 3. B. 1. 6. 6.".
"Deutschland: München." Neueste Nachrichten aus dem Gebiete der Politik 7 (February 5, 1854), p. 409, notes that Kings Max and Ludwig of Bavaria pay great attention to it on their visit to the Entres gallery.
Neue Münchener Zeitung no. 57 (March 8, 1854), p. 524, "mehrere Historien-Maler und Kunstfreunde" ["several history painters and lovers of art"] praise Entres for recognizing it as a Dürer and saving it from loss.
Ernst Förster. "Zeitung: München." Deutsches Kunstblatt 5 (April 27, 1854), p. 152, praises it as an authentic Dürer.
G[ustav]. F[riedrich]. Waagen. "Zeitung." Deutsches Kunstblatt 5 (June 8, 1854), p. 203, attacks Förster's attribution [see Ref. Förster 1854, April 27] to Dürer on the basis of style and execution, and calls it a copy from the second half of the sixteenth century; mentions a rubbed transfer [now lost] in a brown medium in the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett, which shows the same composition in reverse, but is more gracefully drawn than the MMA work, noting also that in the transfer the figures are life-size, but are much smaller in the painting; believes the Berlin transfer to have been made after a lost original, larger than the MMA painting, by Dürer.
Ernst Förster. "Die heilige Anna Albrecht Dürer's." Deutsches Kunstblatt 5 (July 13, 1854), pp. 251–52 [reprinted in Neue Münchener Zeitung (July 26, 1854), pp. 1924–25], rebuts Waagen's assertion [see Ref. 1854, June 8] that the work is not by Dürer, stating that he has obtained the measurements of the figures in the Berlin rubbing and that they match those of the MMA picture exactly.
"Eine Replik." Neue Münchener Zeitung (July 18, 1854), p. 1837, summarizes the attribution debate between Förster and Waagen [see Refs. 1854].
Neueste Nachrichten aus dem Gebiete der Politik 7 (July 19, 1854), p. 2452, summarizes the attribution debate between Förster and Waagen [see Refs. 1854].
G[ustav]. F[riedrich]. Waagen. "Zeitung: Berlin." Deutsches Kunstblatt 5 (December 7, 1854), p. 437, rejects the attribution to Dürer and reports the opinion of Mündler [see Ref. Mündler 1854].
Jos[eph]. Otto Entres. Die heilige Anna, Maria, und das Jesuskind von Albrecht Dürer. Munich, 1854, pp. 1–22.
Allgemeine Zeitung no. 53 (1854) [see Ref. Entres 1854, pp. 12–13], reports on its restoration by Anton Deschler in Augsburg.
Otto Mündler. Letter to or written statement for G. F. Waagen. October 18, 1854, calls it nothing more than a copy.
C. Becker. "St. Anna, Maria und das schlafende Jesuskind, ein Oelgemälde von Albr. Dürer." Anzeiger für Kunde der deutschen Vorzeit, n.s., 4 (January 1857), cols. 11–12, concludes that it is a copy by a talented contemporary, or perhaps slightly later, imitator of Dürer.
A[ugust]. v[on]. Eye. Leben und Wirken Albrecht Dürer's. Nördlingen, Germany, 1860, pp. 400–401, mentions its controversial authenticity; states that Elector Maximilian I acquired it from a Nuremberg wine merchant named Rößler.
J. Sighart. Geschichte der bildenden Künste im Königreich Bayern. Munich, 1862, p. 624 n. 2
A. R. "Besprechungen, Mittheilungen etc.: München." Organ für christliche Kunst 17 (December 15, 1867), p. 286, reports its sale to Jean de Couriss; claims that the Virgin and Saint Anne are portraits of Clara Pirkheimer, daughter of Wilibald Pirkheimer, and that the child is Dürer's son.
Moriz Thausing. Dürer: Geschichte seines Lebens und seiner Kunst. Leipzig, 1876, pp. 384–85, cautions that in doubting Dürer's authorship, Waagen [see Ref. 1854] and Mündler [according to Thausing, an "oral opinion," that probably refers to Ref. Mündler 1854] failed to take into account the general decline in the quality of Dürer's style during this period.
Charles Ephrussi. Albert Dürer et ses dessins. Paris, 1882, p. 173, states that a 1519 sketch of the head of Saint Anne (Albertina, Vienna) is a study for this picture; erroneously states that Prestel made a print after this work.
Moriz Thausing. Dürer: Geschichte seines Lebens und seiner Kunst. 2nd ed. [1st ed., 1876]. Leipzig, 1884, vol. 2, pp. 135–36.
F. v. Reber. Kurfürst Maximilian I. von Bayern als Gemäldesammler. Munich, 1892, pp. 17, 44, publishes the inventory of Maximilian I, claiming that it dates from 1628 [this is either erroneous dating, as Maximilian acquired the MMA painting in 1630, or the inventory was begun in 1628 and added to later]; incorrectly assumes it came from the Imhoff collection.
Lina Eckenstein. Albrecht Dürer. London, , pp. 203, 259, mentions that the painting is in Odessa, but misidentifies it as the "Virgin and Child of the Pink".
[Max J.] Friedländer. "Die Ausstellung altdeutscher Kunst im Burlington Fine Arts Club zu London—Sommer 1906." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 29 (1906), p. 587, regards it as the best version of Dürer's Anna Selbdritt composition; notes its location as Kiev (now Kyiv).
Ernst Heidrich. Geschichte des Dürerschen Marienbildes. Leipzig, 1906, p. 128 n. 2.
"Ein 'neuer' Dürer." Der Cicerone 1, no. 24 (1909), pp. 779–80, as the original by Dürer after which many copies were made.
Rudolf Wustmann. "Zwei neue Dürer." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, n.s., 21 (1910), pp. 52–56, ill. opp. p. 49, considers it by Dürer, gives the history of its sale from Schleissheim, and relates the controversy about its authenticity.
W. Bayersdorfer. "Zu Rudolf Wustmanns Aufsatz 'Zwei neue Dürer'." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, n.s., 21 (1910), pp. 142, 144–47, publishes the letters and archive entries relative to the Elector Maximilian's purchase of the painting, establishing that it was in the Tucher collection in 1628.
Theodor Droese. "Ein wieder aufgetauchtes Gemälde Dürers." Christliches Kunstblatt 53 (March 1911), pp. 76–77, as unquestionably genuine.
Max J. Friedländer. Letter to Duveen. December 23, 1911, as the original by Dürer, of which there are several copies.
William Bode. "More Spurious Pictures Abroad Than in America." New York Times (December 31, 1911), p. SM4.
"The Benjamin Altman Bequest." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 8 (November 1913), pp. 236–37, ill.
Handbook of the Benjamin Altman Collection. New York, 1914, pp. 50–52, no. 32.
Maurice W. Brockwell inA Catalogue of the Paintings at Doughty House, Richmond, & Elsewhere in the Collection of Sir Frederick Cook, Bt., visconde de Monserrate. Ed. Sir Herbert Frederick Cook. Vol. 3, London, 1915, pp. 115–16.
Gustav Pauli. "Die Bildnisse von Dürers Gattin." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, n.s., 26 (1915), p. 76, ill. p. 73 (detail), ascribes it to Dürer, including it in a study of a number of paintings in which Dürer used his wife Agnes as a model.
E[mil]. Waldmann. Albrecht Dürer. Leipzig, 1916, p. 90, pl. 64.
Isabella Errera. Répertoire des peintures datées. Vol. 1, Brussels, 1920, p. 79.
Max J. Friedländer. Albrecht Dürer. Leipzig, 1921, pp. 170–71, ill.
François Monod. "La galerie Altman au Metropolitan Museum de New-York (1er article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 5th ser., 8 (September–October 1923), p. 195, accepts the attribution to Dürer, comparing it with several other works painted at this time.
Pierre du Colombier. Albert Dürer. Paris, 1927, pp. 126, 173.
Handbook of the Benjamin Altman Collection. 2nd ed. New York, 1928, pp. 30–32, no. 7.
Eduard Flechsig. Albrecht Dürer, sein Leben und seine künstlerische Entwickelung. Vol. 1, Berlin, 1928, p. 435.
Friedrich Winkler. Dürer, des Meisters Gemälde Kupferstiche und Holzschnitte. Stuttgart, , pp. 444, 451, ill. p. 64.
Eduard Flechsig. Albrecht Dürer, sein Leben und seine künstlerische Entwicklung. Vol. 2, Berlin, 1931, p. 591, no. 1043.
Hans Tietze. "Dürer in Amerika." Anzeiger des germanischen Nationalmuseums (1932–33), pp. 92, 94 [reprinted in English in Art Bulletin 15 (September 1933), pp. 263–64, fig. 18], accepts it as by Dürer, and finds the date believable.
Emil Waldmann. Albrecht Dürer: Sein Leben und seine Kunst. Leipzig, , p. 138, pl. 149.
Hans Tietze. Meisterwerke europäischer Malerei in Amerika. Vienna, 1935, p. 338, pl. 201 [English ed., "Masterpieces of European Painting in America," New York, 1939, p. 323, pl. 201].
Charles L. Kuhn. A Catalogue of German Paintings of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in American Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1936, p. 55, no. 204, pl. XXXIX, as by Dürer.
Foreword by Ernst Buchner. Ältere Pinakothek München: Amtlicher Katalog. 18th ed. Munich, 1936, p. XLIII.
Hans Tietze and E. Tietze-Conrat. Kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke Albrecht Dürers. part 1, Vol. 2, Basel, 1937, pp. 137–38, no. 736, ill. p. 298, as by Dürer, but state that Deschler's restoration so severely compromised the picture that all that is left of Dürer's work are composition and type.
Emil Waldmann. "Deutsche Kunst in amerikanischen Museen." Der Türmer: Deutsche Monatshefte 39 (January 1937), p. 298, ill . opp. p. 297.
Friedrich Winkler. Die Zeichnungen Albrecht Dürers. Vol. 3, Berlin, 1938, pp. 26, 38, under no. 574, publishes the Albertina drawing of the head of Saint Anne.
Duveen Pictures in Public Collections of America. New York, 1941, unpaginated, no. 218, ill.
Regina Shoolman and Charles E. Slatkin. The Enjoyment of Art in America. Philadelphia, 1942, p. 505, pl. 461.
Erwin Panofsky. Albrecht Dürer. Princeton, 1943, vol. 1, p. 201; vol. 2, p. 11, no. 36, as by Dürer, observing in it the tendency toward simplification that characterizes Dürer's engravings and paintings of the period.
Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, pp. 186–88, ill., erroneously as transferred to canvas.
Art Treasures of the Metropolitan: A Selection from the European and Asiatic Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1952, p. 227, no. 103, colorpl. 103.
H[einrich]. Th[eodor]. Musper. Albrecht Dürer: Der gegenwärtige Stand der Forschung. Stuttgart, 1953, p. 224, considers it representative of Dürer's late style in its greatest purity.
Anton Ernstberger. "Kurfürst Maximilian I. und Albrecht Dürer." Anzeiger des Germanischen National-Museums 1940 bis 1953 (April 1954), pp. 157–58, 161, 168–69, discusses possible reasons for Maximilian's declining to purchase it in 1628 and his subsequent acquisition of it in 1630; replaces Rößlen [see Ref. Bayersdorfer 1910; Ref. Becker 1857 refers to the seller as Rößler] in the provenance with Furtenbach.
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 32.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), ill. p. 19.
Friedrich Winkler. Albrecht Dürer: Leben und Werk. Berlin, 1957, pp. 261–62, pl. 131, as a new interpretation of an Andachtsbild.
Ludwig Grote. Die Tucher: Bildnis einer Patrizierfamilie. Munich, 1961, p. 78, states that it may have been acquired by the Tucher family while Dürer was still alive.
Kurt Martin. Alte Pinakothek München: Katalog. Vol. 2, Altdeutsche Malerei. Munich, 1963, p. 24,
Ludwig Grote. Dürer: Biographical and Critical Study. Geneva, 1965, pp. 105–7, ill., as commissioned by Linhart [Leonhard] Tucher.
H[einrich]. T[heodor]. Musper. Albrecht Dürer. New York, , pp. 26–27, 122, ill. p. 123 (color), regards it as "one of Dürer's supreme masterworks . . . in immaculate condition".
Otto Benesch. German Painting from Dürer to Holbein. Geneva, 1966, p. 136.
Angela Ottino della Chiesa. The Complete Paintings of Dürer. New York, 1968, p. 110, no. 156, ill. p. 110 and colorpls. LI–LIII (overall and details).
Alistair Smith inThe Complete Paintings of Dürer. New York, 1968, p. 7.
Gert von der Osten and Horst Vey. Painting and Sculpture in Germany and the Netherlands 1500 to 1600. Baltimore, 1969, p. 82.
Ludwig Grote. "Albrecht Dürers Anna Selbdritt: Ein Auftrag von Linhart Tucher." Anzeiger des Germanischen Nationalmuseums 1969 (1969), pp. 75–88, fig. 1, publishes the 1604 inventory of Paul IV Tucher, which cites a painting by Dürer, "Item ein gemalte Tafel von dess Dürrers Handt Angeschlagen umb 24 Gulden daraus gebuhrt dem Herrn seligen der halbe und der andere halbe Thail seinem Herrn Bruder Herdegen Tucher thut hierher 12 fl.," probably this picture;
quotes Ref. Behaim 1630, erroneously stating that it proves that the picture was commissioned by Linhart [Leonhard] Tucher from Dürer.
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 171 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].
Fedja Anzelewsky. Albrecht Dürer: Das Malerische Werk. Berlin, 1971, pp. 37, 47, 52, 90, 97–98, 102, 254–55, no. 147, pl. 175.
"Dürer: ce qui l'inquiétait." Connaissance des arts no. 227 (January 1971), pp. 60–61, ill. (color).
Willi Bongard and Matthias Mende. Dürer heute. Munich, 1971, pp. 80, 94 [English ed., Geyso, Bongard, and Mende, "Dürer Today," Munich, 1978, pp. 91, 106].
Walter Koschatzky and Alice Strobl. Die Dürer Zeichnungen der Albertina. Salzburg, 1971, p. 366, ill., discusses it in relation to the 1519 preliminary drawing for Saint Anne in the Albertina [see Notes], with Agnes Dürer, not yet fifty years old, as the model.
Peter Strieder. Dürer. Milan, 1976, pp. 142, 186, no. 58, ill. pp. 143–45 (color, overall and details) and 186 [English ed., "The Hidden Dürer," Chicago, 1978].
Ugo Ruggeri. Dürer. Woodbury, N.Y., 1979, p. 52, unpaginated catalogue section, colorpl. 35, relates the tone of the picture to the "Madonna of the Pear" in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Geerd Westrum. Altdeutsche Malerei. Munich, 1979, p. 97, ill. p. 96 (color).
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 260, 263, fig. 471 (color).
Fedja Anzelewsky. Dürer: Werk und Wirkung. Stuttgart, 1980, p. 195, no. 184, ill. p. 197 (color).
Gisela Goldberg. "Zur Ausprägung der Dürer-Renaissance in München." Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst, 3rd ser., 31 (1980), pp. 133, 152 nn. 43–44.
Peter Diemer inQuellen und Studien zur Kunstpolitik der Wittelsbacher vom 16. bis zum 18. Jahrhundert. Ed. Hubert Glaser. Munich, 1980, pp. 139, 150, 164, ill.
Monika Bachtler et al. inQuellen und Studien zur Kunstpolitik der Wittelsbacher vom 16. bis zum 18. Jahrhundert. Ed. Hubert Glaser. Munich, 1980, p. 227, publish a 1642 inventory of the collection of Elector Maximilian I.
Peter Strieder. Dürer. Königstein, 1981, pp. 20, 22, 33, ill. p. 32 (color).
Vinko Zlamalik. Strossmayerova Galerija Starih Majstora Jugoslavenske Akademije Znanosti i Umjetnosti. Zagreb, 1982, p. 292, under no. 139.
Kuno Mittelstädt. Albrecht Dürer. Berlin, 1986, unpaginated, no. 33, ill. (color).
Kurt Löcher inGothic and Renaissance Art in Nuremberg, 1300–1550. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1986, pp. 326–28, no. 144, ill. (color), and color detail on dust jacket [German ed., "Nürnberg 1300–1550: Kunst der Gotik und Renaissance"]
, erroneously describes the support as canvas, and considers the monogram and date as genuine.
Introduction by James Snyder inThe Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Renaissance in the North. New York, 1987, pp. 14, 97, colorpl. 63.
Fedja Anzelewsky. Albrecht Dürer: Das Malerische Werk. rev. ed. [first ed., 1971]. Berlin, 1991, text vol., pp. 35, 45, 52, 71–72, 91–92, 99–100, 103, 259–61, no. 147; plate vol., colorpl. 174.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 218, ill.
Gisela Goldberg. "Hugo von Tschudi und die Alte Pinakothek." Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen Jahresbericht (1996), pp. 24–25, fig. 8.
M[atthias]. Mende inAllgemeines Künstlerlexikon: die bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker. Vol. 30, Munich, 2001, p. 301.
Claus Grimm. Meister oder Schüler?: Berühmte Werke auf dem Prüfstand. Stuttgart, 2002, pp. 52, 54, figs. 84–85, 87 (color, overall and details), attributes it to the Dürer workshop, possibly to George Pencz, because of the high viscosity of the paint, the lack of emphasis on line, the Manneristic shadows and highlights, the emphasis on modeling with light, the plastic quality of the whole, the uncharacteristic form of the monogram and date, and the unanatomical quality of the Child's head.
Heinz Widauer inAlbrecht Dürer. Exh. cat., Albertina, Vienna. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany, 2003, pp. 478, 480, under no. 167, ill.
Meryle Secrest. Duveen: A Life in Art. New York, 2004, p. 430.
Viktor Mikhalchenko and Oleg Sivirin. Da budet pravda: istoriia dvorianskogo roda Kurisov, vozrozhdenie iz zabveniia [transliterated Russian title, which in English translates as "Let There be Truth: History of the Noble Family of Kuris, Rescue from Oblivion"]. Odessa, 2005, pp. 101 (no. 12), 290, provides ownership history between Entres and Duveen, by way of the Kuris family [see Ex collections] and reprints parts of catalogues for 1884 and 1888 Odessa exhibitions which included this picture.
Peter Klein. Letter to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. April 3, 2006, reports that the support is made of linden wood, later glued to plywood.
Martin Schawe. Alte Pinakothek: Altdeutsche und altniederländische Malerei. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany, 2006, p. 47, fig. 24.
Maryan W. Ainsworth in Maryan W. Ainsworth and Joshua P. Waterman. German Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1350–1600. New Haven, 2013, pp. 5, 103.
Joshua P. Waterman in Maryan W. Ainsworth and Joshua P. Waterman. German Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1350–1600. New Haven, 2013, pp. 113–17, 297–98, no. 25, ill. (color).
Matthias Weniger. Fränkische Galerie: Zweigmuseum des Bayerischen Nationalmuseums. Petersberg, Germany, 2014, p. 212, ill. (color), under no. 79.
Kathryn Calley Galitz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings. New York, 2016, p. 274, no. 176, ill. pp. 180, 274 (color).
Old Master Paintings, Part II. Dorotheum, Vienna. October 22, 2019, p. 35, under no. 139.
Dorotheum, Vienna. Old Master Paintings, Part 2. November 10, 2020, p. 35, under no. 166.
The frame is from Milan and dates to about 1630 (see figs. 2 –5 above). This giltwood cassetta frame is made of poplar and is secured with miter faced half lap joins at the corners. The ogee sight edge rises to a bead on a step followed by a small cavetto. The top edge molding on the other side of the narrow frieze rises from a quarter round to a deep shadowed hollow before an overhanging ovolu. The back edge molding, comprised of a bead with a small cavetto, is applied to the vertical side. The frieze may originally have had paint decoration. The frame has been reduced on all four sides and regilded for this painting.
Timothy Newbery with Cynthia Moyer 2017; further information on this frame can be found in the Department of European Paintings files
This work may not be lent, by terms of its acquisition by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.