Albrecht Dürer: Bildnis des Vaters, 1497, The National Gallery, London
Kopie nach Albrecht Dürer: Bildnis des Vaters, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München
Kopie nach Albrecht Dürer: Bildnis des Vaters, Syon House, London
With its inscription and the iconic monogram, this copy appears so convincing that it was acquired in 1836 as an original by Albrecht Dürer. Together with at least three other, almost identical versions of the portrait, the painting attests to the so-called “Dürer Renaissance” of around 1600, when, in addition to painted copies, numerous reproductive prints were produced after Dürer’s works, for example by Wenceslaus Hollar. With his mirror-inverted etchings, Hollar reproduced important paintings that were then in the celebrated collection of the Earl of Arundel in England. In the 17th century, these etchings, all of which identify Dürer as the originator of the compositions, were not perceived as “mere reproductions”. The virtuoso skill and artistry Hollar demonstrated in translating a painting into the medium of printmaking met with great admiration, and his prints were highly sought-after.