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drawing

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1912,0709.1

  • Description

    The bearer of the 'Julius' banner of the canton Zug; man wearing an elaborate costume striding to left, his mouth open, left arm raised and right hand carrying a banner, depicting in the top left corner the Passion scene Descent from the Cross, he is wearing a crown of foliage and carrying a sword and dagger, a feathered hat hangs down by his legs. 1521 Pen and black ink

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  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1521
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 270 millimetres
    • Width: 180 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Rowlands 1993
        Inscribed by the artist, in black ink, on the lower edge, with his monogram, of which the left branch of the V is formed by a dagger, and dated “1521”
  • Curator's comments

    Edited 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. 290 (where reg.no incorrectly given as 1912,0708.1):

    'Together with two surviving drawings of banner-bearers of the Swiss cantons this may have formed part of a series of drawings of the cantons of the Swiss Confederacy, produced in the same year, 1521, as Graf's series of white-line wood-cuts of the same subject (Hollstein, xi, 1977, pp. 55ff., nos. 29-44, repr.). The other two drawings are the 'Banner-bearer of the canton Glarus' formerly in the Liechtenstein Collection, Vaduz and now in the Metropolitan Museum New York (see F.Spira in 'Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings 1400-1700', exhibition catalogue, New York, The Metropolitan Museum, 2012, pp 58f, no. 26) and the 'Banner-bearer of the canton Unterwalden', dated 1521, in the Graphische Sammlung der Eidgenössischen Technischen Hochschule, Zürich (Parker, op. cit., p. 217, no. 4). As Dodgson pointed out, the banners which appear in this series show in their upper corners scenes from the Passion, which were privileges bestowed in 1512 on the Swiss cantons by Pope Julius II, in recognition of the services rendered in defeating the forces of the French king and especially for the taking of Pavia. Zug had received an earlier privilege, in 1509, from Pope Julius to place an image of the Pietà on its banner. This canton, together with a number of others which had already been using religious emblems, received in 1512 an augmentation to it, which usually took the form of an extra figure or figures to their subject. In Zug's case sorrowing women and disciples were added. The appearance of these embroidered banners is represented on a large anonymous woodcut of 1512 (S. Vögelin, 'Die Holzschneidekunst in Zürich im sechszehnten Jahrhundert', Zürich, 1881-2, p. 52, n. 15, p. 66). Dodgson suggested that this print was the source for all subsequent pictorial representations of the 'Julius' banners, some of which survive to this day; after the Reformation only the Catholic cantons retained the use of papal banners. For some unexplained reason, the gesticulating banner-bearer in the present drawing wears an engagement crown.'

    Lit. from Rowlands 1993: C. Dodgson, Vasari Society, viii, 1912-13, no. 30, repr.; K.T. Parker, Anz., NE, xxiii, 1921, p. 211, no. 18; Hugelshofer, Schweizer Handz., p. 32, no. 30 repr.; BM Dürer and Holbein, pp. 218-9, no. 185, repr.

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  • Bibliography

    • Rowlands 1993 290 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (German Roy XVIc)

  • Exhibition history

    1984, BM, Master Drawings & Watercolours, no. 55 1988, July-Oct, BM, Age of Dürer & Holbein, no. 185

  • Subjects

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1912

  • Acquisition notes

    Offered at half or less of market value

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1912,0709.1

The bearer of the 'Julius' banner of the canton Zug; man wearing an elaborate costume striding to l, his mouth open, l arm raised and r hand carrying a banner, depicting in the top l corner the Passion scene Descent from the Cross, he is wearing a crown of foliage and carrying a sword and dagger, a feathered hat hangs down by his legs. 1521 Pen and black ink

Recto

The bearer of the 'Julius' banner of the canton Zug; man wearing an elaborate costume striding to l, his mouth open, l arm raised and r hand carrying a banner, depicting in the top l corner the Passion scene Descent from the Cross, he is wearing a crown of foliage and carrying a sword and dagger, a feathered hat hangs down by his legs. 1521 Pen and black ink

Image description

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