- Museum number
Philip von Cleve jousting with Freydal, from a manuscript of "Freydal" consisting of a series of sketches for the finished miniatures; two men on horseback engaged in jousting, both wearing a suit of armour, the man at right wearing a long cloak and flowers on his head-dress. c.1512-15
Pen and brown ink, with watercolour, sheet cut down
- Production date
- 1512-1515 (circa)
Height: 212 millimetres
Width: 228 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- South German, c1512-1515
LITERATURE: C. Dodgson, Burlington, liii, 1928, p. 170
This sheet comes from a manuscript of 'Freydal', consisting of a series of sketches (each leaf, 33.5 X 27 cm) for the finished miniatures. These were prepared for the woodcuts which, it was intended, would illustrate a book about the Emperor Maximilian's youthful chivalric exploits in the style of a romance. In this work under the guise of Freydal the Emperor visited the courts of sixty-four princesses or noble ladies where he went through the same cycle of different forms of jousting and combat on foot, and masked festivity. The plan drawn up by Treutzsaurwein in 1512 was for 128 pictures of jousting only; for then as earlier the masquerades were to have been the subject of a separate book, the costumes for which Maximilian had already ordered from the court tailor in 1502. But the Emperor was himself thinking of a book of some 250 woodcuts, which meant that with the masquerades there would be four woodcuts illustrating a cycle of the same four events at each of the sixty-four courts he visited. Despite the fact that its subject covered the Emperor's manhood prior to the ‘Theuerdank’ it remained a fragment on which, of all the Emperor's literary schemes, the least progress was made. Only five woodcuts were done, modelled on the relevant miniatures, but designed with freedom by Dürer in 1516.
The finished miniatures (255 out of 256) for 'Freydal' are almost all by unknown hands. Only one of the miniatures is signed, and this just with the monogram NP (according to Dodgson, possibly Nicolaus Plaundler of Innsbruck), and dated 1515. The Codex which contains them came from the Schloss Ambras in the Tyrol to Vienna in 1806, and is now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Codex Ms. 2831 (published in facsimile, Quirin von Leitner, ‘Freydal des Kaisers Maximilian I: Turniere und Mummereien’, Vienna, 1880-2, in the introduction of which is also printed the scheme for the text of Freydal). According to a letter from the Emperor to Sigmund von Dietrichstein much of this work was done at Cologne, when the Emperor was residing there from July 1512 to March 1513, although the single date of 1515 on one of the finished miniatures mentioned above would make it plausible that Maximilian was referring largely to the preliminary sketches.
The majority of these preliminary drawings for the miniatures to illustrate 'Freydal', 175 leaves of coloured sketches, only came to light in the 1920s, being discovered in Paris by E.P. Goldschmidt. They came from the collection of Comte Fréderic de Pourtales, and were published by Campbell Dodgson (‘Burlington’, xlviii, 1926, pp. 235-42). Shortly afterwards a further twenty-eight drawings of masquerades, a separated part of the same series of preparatory sketches, appeared in a sale at Leipzig (Boerner, 1929, 10—11, 13-15 May, auction no. clxi, lot 469 bt ‘Gilhofer and Rauschenherg RM 61,000’) and were also published by Dodgson (‘Burlington’, liii, 1928, pp. 170ff.), who mentions in passing the appearance and acquisition of 1926,0713.9. Both groups of sketches for 'Freydal' were subsequently acquired by Lessing J. Rosenwald, and were bequeathed to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (accession nos. 1943.3.4382-98; 1943.3.4407; 1943.3.4463-538; 1943. 3.4549-92; 1943.3.4408-62).
The contestants on this sheet are dressed in field armour and are engaged in the type of joust called 'Tourney Course' or ‘Freitourney’. Although the present drawing lacks any inscription, it is possible to identify Maximilian's adversary, the left-hand rider, from the ex-Ambras codex (see Leitner, op. cit., pl. 85) as 'Der von Rabenstein', whom Leitner discovered could only be Philipp von Cleve, Herr zu Ravenstein, a son of Adolph von Cleve, Knight of the Golden Fleece (1425-92). Apart from these two the only other member of the family who at that period would properly be described as ‘Herren von Ravenstein’ was Philipp's uncle, Johann I Herzog von Cleve, Count de La Marck (1419-81). But both the father and the uncle were much too old to have jousted with Maximilian when Archduke.
Yet another sheet with a preliminary sketch from the ex-Pourtales manuscript, cut down and without an inscription, was formerly in the collection of Prince Argoutinsky-Dolgoronkow, St Petersburg (sale, Sotheby, 1923, 24 July, lot 59, as 'Flemish School', repr. in the catalogue).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2018 - 2019 8 Jun - 20 Jan, Ottawa, Canadian Museum of History, Medieval Europe
1971, BM, Dürer no.365
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number