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The Dürer Society — 6.1903

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DURER. Portrait of Erasmus.
Collotype from the charcoal drawing of 1520 (14! by lof in., 37*3 by 27*1 cm.) in the Collection
of M. Leon Bonnat, Paris. {Bp hr us si, p. 27%; Lippmann, 361).
The drawing is dated but not signed, and the inscription, “Erasmus fon rottertam,” has been
added with pen and ink by another hand.


DURER. Portrait of Margaret of Brandenburg-Ansbach.
Collotype from the black chalk drawing of 1525 (16J by i2f in., 42 by 31*5 cml) on green prepared
papery recently acquired by the British Museum.
The sitter, a plain, middle-aged woman, is drawn half-length, three-quarter face to left. She is
simply dressed, but there are slight indications of a double or triple chain, with pendants, reaching nearly
to the waist. There is no signature, but Diirer has written at the top, in Indian ink, “ 1525 Casmirs
schwestr fraw margret.”
This title gave a clue to the identity of the sitter. The name Casimir is especially associated with
the royal house of Poland. A German prince connected with that house, Casimir, Margrave of Culmbach,
derived his name from his maternal grandfather, Casimir III. of Poland, whose daughter, Sophia, married
Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach and Bayreuth (1460—1536). The Margrave Casimir
(1481—1527) ruled over most of the Franconian territory of the Hohenzollerns after his father’s deposition
in 1515. The name of his eldest sister was Margaret; she was born in January, 1483, and died unmarried
in 1532. This lady, I believe, was drawn by Diirer in 15 2 5 ; her age was then forty-two.
The drawing strongly resembles, in style and technique, a portrait of a lady, also drawn in chalk
on green paper, and dated 1525 in Indian ink, in Mr. Heseltine’s collection (Lippmann, 87). There is
good reason to think that the two drawings were made on the same occasion, and that the younger
woman is Margaret’s sister-in-law, the Margravine Susanna (1502—1543), who was a Bavarian princess
and niece to the Emperor Maximilian, being the daughter of his sister, Kunigunda. She was married
to Casimir in 1518, and on that occasion Diirer painted the portraits of husband and wife on a votive
picture, now lost, which represented the body of Christ being anointed for burial.1 There was thus a
link of earlier date between Diirer and the Margrave of Culmbach; the evidence afforded by medals
of his wife, Susanna, made in 1529, after her second marriage with the Count Palatine, Otto Heinrich,
makes it further probable that Diirer drew the Margravine’s portrait, as well as that of the Margrave’s
unmarried sister, in 1525. Further details will be found in The Burlington Magazine, August, 1903,
in which this drawing was published for the first time, and on p. 100 of the September number.



St. Laurence.

Collotype from the pen and bistre drawing of 1521 (diam. i2| in., 31 cm.) in the British Museum.
A design for a pane of glass in a window of some public building at Nuremberg, perhaps
the Rathaus. The artist began by drawing a number of concentric circles with the compasses; the
perforation made by the fixed point of the instrument may be seen in the middle. He then drew
the shield with the arms of Nuremberg over the lines already traced with the compasses, and lastly filled
in the two principal spaces allotted to the Saint himself, and to the border of gourds and foliage.
This characteristic drawing of Beham’s youth, displaying his firm and regular draughtsmanship,
has been taken recently from the old black pigskin volume in which Sir Hans Sloane kept drawings by

1 Julius Meyer, “ Erinnerungen an die Hohenzollernherrschaft in Franken,” Ansbach, 1890, p. 118.