Portrait of the father, Albrecht Durer, 1497

Portrait of the father, Albrecht Durer, 1497
Portrait of the father, Albrecht Durer, 1497 - 1

  • Posted by Albrecht Durer
  • Museum: National Gallery (London)
  • Year: 1497

Overview of the painting :

The portrait of his father is Albrecht Durer. 1497. Oil on canvas. 51 x 40.3 cm
   Dührer’s father, a Hungarian by birth, was a jeweler. The artist wrote it more than once, at least in 1490 (Uffizi Gallery – Florence).

   The presented work is signed as follows: “1497. Albrecht Durer Senior at the age of 70. ”. Several versions of the portrait are known. Although the head of the model was written out carefully, the picture was not finished. In this portrait, the father naturally looks older than on the mentioned early canvas, his lips have become thinner, the facial features are sharper, his eyes are more insightful. In a word, he has grown old, and the artist uncompromisingly states this. Five years later, my father passed away.

   The year after the creation of this portrait, Dührer wrote a self-portrait, now stored at the Prado Museum in Madrid. It is possible that two works hung in one room in the artist’s house or were even conceived as pairwise: they are the same size and semi-figure. Despite the difference in models in clothes (natural with their age difference), portraits are harmoniously combined.

   In 1636, the heads of the city of Nuremberg presented both paintings to the Duke of Arundel for donation to the English king Charles I. In 1650, Kromwell sold the paintings. “Portrait of a Father” remained in England, and subsequently, in 1904, it was acquired by the National Gallery.