Portrait of Emperor Maximilian I (c.1518) by Albrecht Durer

Portrait of Emperor Maximilian I - Albrecht Durer - c.1518

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Emperor Maximilian I
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationBritish Museum, London, UK

About Portrait of Emperor Maximilian I

The artwork titled “Portrait of Emperor Maximilian I” is by renowned artist Albrecht Dürer and dates back to around 1518. As a woodcut, it stands as a fine example of the Northern Renaissance art movement. The genre of this artwork is portrait, and it currently resides in the British Museum, located in London, UK.

In this woodcut portrait, Emperor Maximilian I is depicted in a profile view, which was a common representation for sovereigns of the era. Dürer has masterfully captured the emperor’s features and attire, conveying his status and character. The emperor is shown wearing a wide-brimmed hat adorned with a medallion or brooch, which speaks to the fashion of the period and his noble standing. The detail in the emperor’s face is meticulous, with individual lines artfully crafted to form a lifelike representation, including his aged skin, the folds around his eyes, and the structure of his jaw and cheekbones. Maximilian’s attire is richly decorated, featuring elaborate patterns and embellishments that signify opulence, including what appears to be an ornate collar or necklace, suggesting the wealth and power of his position.

The woodcut also includes Latin text above Maximilian’s image, and the precision of the lettering complements the detailed work seen throughout the rest of the piece. Overall, the portrait is a testament to Dürer’s skill in the woodcut medium and his ability to convey his subjects with a high degree of realism and respect to their social standing.

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