- Museum number
The cathedral at Aachen, formerly in the artist's silverpoint sketch-book; view from a height overlooking a courtyard of houses, with a cathedral beyond. 1520
Silverpoint on pale pink prepared paper
- Production date
Height: 126 millimetres
Width: 174 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This and 1848,1125.3 are two drawings in the BM that belong to a group of fifteen sheets executed in silverpoint on pink prepared paper which formed part of a sketchbook that Dürer used while he was in the Netherlands. It is known from the diary that he visited Aachen between 4 and 26 October 1520, and that he was particularly struck by the porphyry columns inside the Minster: "At Aachen I saw the well-proportioned pillars with their good capitals of green and red porphyry and 'Gossenstein' which Charles the Great [Charlemagne] had brought from Rome thither and set up. They are correctly made according to Vitruvius' writings" (Goris and Marlier, p.69; Charlemagne sent the porphyry columns from Ravenna, not Rome). Charles V was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Aachen on the last day of Dürer's stay in the city. Dürer made this drawing from a window in the city hall, perhaps on the day that he made a payment of "2 weisspfennigs" to a town-servant who took him up into the hall. He also made a drawing in silverpoint of the city hall itself (Chantilly, Musée Condée; Strauss 1520/20). For detailed scientific analysis of the preparation fo the paper and silverpoint technique, see Russell, Rayner and Bescoby 2016.
Lit. from J. Rowlands 'Drawings by German Artists and Artists from German-speaking regions of Europe in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum: the Fifteenth Century, and the Sixteenth Century by Artists born before 1530', London, BM Press, 1993, no. 216: 'Ephrussi, pp. 284f.; Lippmann, part xxxvii, p. 22, no. 404, repr.; Conway, p. 42, no. 768; Pauli, p. 34, no. 1006; Veth and Muller, i, p. 24, no. 111, repr.; BM Guide, 1928, p. 27, no. 267; Flechsig, Dürer, ii, pp. 213, 216, 347; Tietze, iii, p. 13, no. 767, repr.; Winkler, Dürer, iv, p. 15, no. 763, repr.; Panofsky, ii, p. 140, no. 1485; Schilling, Sketchbook, p. 20, repr.; Rotterdam, Erasmus, i, no. 278; Rowlands, Dürer, p. 40, no. 263; Goris and Marlier, pp. 70, 182, no. 2, repr.; Strauss, iv, p. 1964, no. 1520/ 22, repr.; BM Dürer and Holbein, p. 100, no. 72, repr.'
Additional lit: G. Bartrum, 'Albrecht Dürer and his Legacy', exhibition catalogue, London, British Museum, 2002, no.151; Giulia Bartrum in 'Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns', edited by Stacey Sell and Hugo Chapman, Princeton and Oxford, 2015, p. 71, pl.29; Joanna Russell, Judith Rayner and Jenny Bescoby, ' Northern European Metalpoint Drawings: technical examination and analysis', London, 2016, pp 59.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1928 BM, Guide Woodcuts, Drawings of Dürer, no. 267
1971 BM, 'Dürer', no. 263
1977 Oct-Nov, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 'Dürer', no. 69
1988 Jul-Oct, BM, 'Age of Dürer & Holbein', no. 72
1990 Apr-Aug, BM, 'Treasures of the P&D'
2002/3 Dec-Mar, BM, Dürer and his Legacy, no. 151
2015 May-Jul, NGA, Washington, 'Drawing in Silver and Gold'
2015 10 Sep-6 Dec BM, 'Drawing in Silver and Gold'
- Previous owner
Previous owner/ex-collection: Joseph Daniel Böhm (Sale, Vienna, A. Posonyi, 1865, 4 December and following days, lot 1135)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Prof August Grahl (L.1199; sale, Sotheby, 1885, 27 April, lot 82, bt Thibaudeau £290)
Previous owner/ex-collection: John Malcolm of Poltalloch
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number