- Museum number
Knight in 'Maximilian armour', on horseback; knight and horse seen from the rear riding towards left into trees
Pen and black ink, heightened with white bodycolour, on blue prepared paper
Verso: Lucretia; whole-length nude woman turned slightly to left, stabbing herself in the chest with a dagger, her left hand flung out to the side
Pen and black ink, over black chalk, on off-white paper
- Production date
- 1505-1526 (circa)
Height: 271 millimetres
Width: 199 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Rowlands' catalogue wrongly gives reg.no as 1929,0411.107
According to Dodgson's inventory card, the drawing was published by K.T.Parker in the Vasari Society IX 16, where he stated that it reminded him of Wechtlin. Later in a note Parker suggested L.Beck, a suggestion that Dodgson thought unsatisfactory. Now called Upper Rhineland, probably circle of Hans Wechtlin.
LITERATURE: K.T. Parker, Vasari Society, 2nd series, part ix, 1928, pp. 13—14, no. 16, repr.
When Parker published this drawing, recognising the difficulties in attributing it precisely, he described it as from the School of the Upper Rhine. Even so he thought that Hans Wechtlin might be someone with whom it could be associated, albeit tentatively. Certainly the unfinished sketch on the verso reflects the manner of Baldung, the dominant figure in the Upper Rhineland, if we exclude Grünewald, who was in any case not a local artist. This would not preclude one from considering Hans Wechtlin, active c. 1505-26 in Strassburg (Thieme-Becker, xxxv, pp. 233-4), who is admittedly not a clearly defined figure as a draughtsman. Very few drawings have been attributed to Wechtlin with any degree of certainty, and among these only that in the Louvre, ‘Seated couple making music’, with a false Martin Schongauer monogram, which has prompted the creation of a hitherto unknown Alsatian artist, the Master MS (Demonts, ‘Louvre’, i, p. 58, no. 272, repr.), may perhaps be considered to be by him. This attribution seems to be reasonably secure if one compares its occasional technical lapses with similar weaknesses in Wechtlin's striking series of ‘chiaroscuro’ woodcuts, such as the strange ‘Pyrgoteles’, in which the features of the standing figure have much in common with those in the drawing in the Louvre. In another woodcut, ‘Alcon’, the way in which the details of the woodland scene are managed, as well as a general kinship between the figures, give one strong grounds for accepting that they are by the same artist, without the additional support of the woodcut ‘St Christopher’ (E. Redslob, ‘Mitt. Kunst’, 1927, p. 53) to which Parker referred. If we extend consideration to the present drawing, there cannot be similar confidence about the attribution, as the handling, especially the use of the bodycolour, is too pedestrian; but assuredly the draughtsman involved is from the same region, and working at the same time as Wechtlin.
Finally, one must mention Parker's afterthought of associating the drawing with the detail of the rear of the saint on horseback in the background of the painting by Leonard Beck (c. 1480-1542) in Vienna, ‘St George slaying the dragon’ (Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. no. 5669; Buchner, ‘Beiträge’, ii, pp. 390-4). A comparison of the two induced Parker to be practically certain that 1949,0411.107 was a study for this painting, despite the persuasive case he had made out in favour of its origin being in the Upper Rhineland. It is worth adding that Dodgson noted on his index card of the present drawing, where he classified it as 'Anonymous S. German or School of the Upper Rhineland', that he regarded Parker's attribution to Beck as unsatisfactory. This was supported by Messling (see G.Messling, 'Der Augsburger Maler und Zeichner Leonhard Beck und sein Umkreis' Dresden 2006, p.107,p. 349, cat.no C.2)
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number