Noble woman at horses and Lansquenet (c.1497) by Albrecht Durer

Noble woman at horses and Lansquenet - Albrecht Durer - c.1497

Artwork Information

TitleNoble woman at horses and Lansquenet
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Noble woman at horses and Lansquenet

“Noble woman at horses and Lansquenet,” created around 1497 by Albrecht Dürer, is a portrait reflecting the Northern Renaissance art movement. Albrecht Dürer, known for his detailed engravings and prints, captures a noblewoman on horseback, accompanied by a lansquenet (a German mercenary soldier), set against what appears to be a rural background featuring a distant castle.

In the artwork, the noblewoman is seated on a side-saddle atop a robust horse. She is dressed in elaborate attire typical of the era’s nobility, with a tightly cinched waist, puffed shoulders, and a hat adorned with a large plume extending upwards and behind her. Her posture is upright and composed, exuding an air of dignity and grace. The lansquenet stands beside her, gazing up in what might be interpreted as a protective or attendant manner. He is dressed in his own distinctive, somewhat flamboyant soldier’s garb, with slashed sleeves that reveal a second layer of fabric beneath, tight hose, and a tall, feathered cap. His right hand rests on the pommel of his sword, suggesting readiness to defend, while his left hand holds a lengthy halberd standing on the ground.

The horse is equipped with a bridle and a decorated saddlecloth, but it does not wear full armor, giving a sense that the scene is more pacific or ceremonious rather than battle-ready. In the background, the castle, distant hills, and trees enhance the impression of a serene landscape suggesting the nobility at leisure. Dürer’s work is notable for the fine details and the textures he achieves, such as the folds of the garments, the patterns of the armor, and the mane of the horse.

Albrecht Dürer’s monogram, the distinct “AD,” can be seen at the lower center of the composition, marking the piece as his work. Overall, the engraving is a testament to Dürer’s skill in portraying figures with a high degree of naturalism and detail, a hallmark of the Northern Renaissance period.

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