- Museum number
The artist Albrecht Dürer as a boy, after a self-portrait by Dürer; half-length figure turned to the right, wearing a hat and tunic with large cuffs on the sleeves, and shoulder-length hair with fringe, his arms resting together in front, pointing with his right forefinger. 1576
Brush and brown wash on prepared paper
- Production date
Height: 309 millimetres
Width: 195 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Entry from 'Albrecht Dürer and his Legacy':
'The reverential tone of the elaborate inscription on this sheet emphasises the height of Dürer's status among artists of the later sixteenth century, at which time his work was particularly admired. It is a remarkably close copy of Dürer's self-portrait in Vienna (Albrecht Dürer and his Legacy no. 1), executed in brush and wash in careful imitation of Dürer's technique of metalpoint on a prepared ground, which by 1576 would have been deeply unfashionable. It is only on inspection under a microscope that the precise technique becomes evident. Hans Hoffmann, a portrait painter and draughtsman who was the most important artist of the so-called Dürer renaissance, was recorded as a citizen of Nuremberg in 1576, the year in which this drawing was made. Although Hoffmann's training is not recorded, it is highly probable that he studied with artists who had known or worked with Dürer. He made this drawing when the original was in the collection of Willibald Imhoff (1519 - 1580), a grandson of Dürer's friend Willibald Pirckheimer. Imhoff inherited a large number of Dürer's drawings after the artist's immediate family died out in 1560. Following Imhoff's death in 1580 the collection was sold by his heirs, and Dürer 's 'Self-portrait at the age of thirteen' was acquired by the Emperor Rudolf II in Prague. Here it was copied soon after 1604 by the court archivist, Daniel Fröschl (1563-1613) in the form of a medallion set into a simulated frame in the lower right corner of a watercolour of the 'Virgin and Child with a portrait of Dürer' (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum; see fig. 19)'.
Lit. from J.Rowlands 'Drawings by German Artists and Artists from German- speaking regions of Europe in the Department of Prints and Dawings at the British Museum: the Fifteenth Century,and the Sixteenth Century by Artists born before 1530', London, BM Press, 1993, no.270: 'Hausmann, Naumann's Archiv, p. 35; Dürer Society, i, p. 4, under no. 111; BM Guide, 1928, p. 18, no. 168; Tietze, i, p. 1, under no. 1; G. Gluck, Aus drei Jahrhunderten europäischer Malerei, Vienna, 1933, p. 232; Kehrer, Dürers Selbstbildnisse, p. 70, under B. Kopien no. 1; Winkler, Dürer, i, pp. 7-8, under no. 1; Rowlands, Dürer, pp. 47-48; Albertina, Dürer, under no. 1; Strauss, i, p. 4, under no. 1484/1'
Additional lit: G.Bartrum, 'Albrecht Dürer and his Legacy' exhibition catalogue, London, British Museum, 2002, no.2; J. Chipps Smith, 'Albrecht Dürer as Collector' in 'Renaissance Quarterly' 64 (2011), pp. 41-42; S. Brisman, 'Albrecht Dürer & the Epistolary Mode of Address', Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2017, fig. 0.4.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1928 BM London, Guide Woodcuts, Drawings of A. Dürer, no. 168
1971 BM, Dürer no.310
2002/3 Dec-Mar, BM, Dürer and his Legacy, no.2
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The original black leather-bound volume containing the Dürer collection of drawings compiled by Pieter Spiering is stamped in gold on its cover with Dürer's monogram, followed by 'Teeckening / 1637'. It is kept in the Department of Prints and Drawings, 159.e.1. Four further albums from the same collection, similarly bound and stamped in gold, containing Dürer manuscripts, are in the Department of Manuscripts, British Library (Sl, 5228, 5229, 5230 and 5231). On Spiering, see Ilja M. Veldman, "Portrait of an art collector: Pieter Spiering van Silvercroon" Simiolus 38:4 (2015/16): 243. Sloane's albums are discussed most recently in K. Sloan, 'Sloane's 'Pictures and Drawings in Frames' and 'Books of Miniature & Painting, Designs &c' in A. Walker, A. Macgregor and M. Hunter, 'From Books to Bezoars: Sir Hans Sloane and his Collections', London, 2012, pp. 168-189.
Additional information from Christof Metzger, Albertina Vienna (July, 2015): The structure of this album, with a copy of Dürer's portrait at the beginning and copies of the Triumphal Procession at the end (see 5218 ###) is very close to the Imhoff collection of Dürer drawings that was sold to Rudolf II in Prague in 1580, and is now mostly in Vienna (with description of its arrangement). This compilation also started with the self-portrait of Dürer as a child (followed by other portraits of Dürer's immediate family) and ended with copies of the Triumphal Procession. It is more than likely that the bulk of the drawings in Sloane 5218 aquired by Francois Spiering (1637) stemmed from the Imhoff sale in 1580; and that the arrangement of the album was maintained. may have come from the estate of the artist Balthasar Spranger, who had a big collection of Dürers that were sold by his descendant, Dummer Spranger in Amsterdam in 1636.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: C,07.1