Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Landsknecht (mercenary); soldier wearing a cloak and plumed hat, holding a halberd. c.1512-15 Pen and black ink, sheet cut down

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1512-1515 (circa)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 275 millimetres
    • Width: 175 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Rowlands 1993
        Inscribed by a later hand, in brown ink, in the upper left-hand corner, "1510", with a false Dürer monogram
  • Curator's comments

    Text for exhibition catalogue for tour of Korea, 2005:

    'Hans Schäufelein was one of the most talented artists to emerge from the workshop of Albrecht Dürer. He was a printmaker and designer of stained glass, and was employed as the municipal painter of Nördlingen in south Germany for the last twenty years of his life.
    The subject of this drawing is related to numerous prints of military figures Schäufelein made for the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian (ruled 1508 - 1519 ) whose large and sophisticated print projects commissioned to glorify his dynasty are a major artistic achievement of the period. The ostentatious feathers, particularly the peacock plume, in the figure’s headdress and the long weapon, a halberd, that he holds, are characteristic features of the German landsknecht, mercenary soldiers who fought for opposing princely factions across Europe during the sixteenth century.'Rowlands 1993
    LITERATURE: Hausmann, Naumann's Archiv, p. 39, no. 97; Hausmann, p. 110, no. 81; BM Guide, 1901, p. 17, no. A.75; Parker, German Schools, p. 29, no. 25, repr.; BM Guide, 1928, p. 36, no. 318; Winkler, K&S, pp. 130, 153, no. 52, repr.

    This study of a landsknecht with a halberd and a 'hand and a half sword, should be linked, to judge from the style, with the group of separate woodcuts of soldiers, credibly dated to the years 1512-15 by Dodgson, when Schäufelein was employed in designing blocks for the Emperor's literary projects. The right-hand figure in ‘Two landsknechts conversing’ (Dodgson, ii, p. 34, no. 90) is the closest in its attitude to that in SL,5218.97, although the landsknecht here, unlike all the other drawings and woodcuts of such mercenaries, stands in an uncharacteristically dignified pose. Winkler, perhaps hinting at the same calmness, describes the line as the most impersonal among all Schäufelein's drawings of landsknechts.


  • Bibliography

    • Rowlands 1993 453 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (German Roy XVIc)

  • Exhibition history

    1901, BM London, Guide Drawings&Sketches Old Masters, no. A75
    1928 BM London, Guide Woodcuts, Drawings of A. Dürer, no. 318
    2005 April-July, Seoul Arts Centre, 'BM Treasures...'
    2005 July-Oct, Korea, Busan Museum, 'BM Treasures...'
    2005/6 Oct-Jan, Daegu, Keimyung Univ. Museum, 'BM Treasures...'

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • C,07.97
Landsknecht (mercenary); soldier wearing a cloak and plumed hat, holding a halberd. c1512-15 Pen and black ink, sheet cut down

Landsknecht (mercenary); soldier wearing a cloak and plumed hat, holding a halberd. c1512-15 Pen and black ink, sheet cut down

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: PDO3677

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help