Friday, 21 April 2017

Altdorfer and Burgkmair's woodblock prints from “Triumphal Procession of Emperor Maximilian I”, c.1517


Albrecht Altdorfer (1482/5–1538) and Hans Burgkmair the Elder (1473 - 1531)
Four giant woodblock print panels from the frieze of 139 plates extending to around 54 meters in length titled, “Triumphal Procession of Emperor Maximilian I”, c.1517

Upper Left: “Knights bearing the banners of Bethune, Franeker und Dendremonde”, c.1517
Lower Left: “Knights bearing the banners of Achalm, Echingen und Ortenburg”, c.1517
Upper Right: “Knights bearing the banners of Auxerrois, Maconais and Charolais”, c.1517
Lower Right: “Knights bearing the banners of Säckingen, Hohenberg and Nellenburg”, c.1517


Condition: superb 18th century impressions (Bartsch edition) with large margins. Each sheet is in excellent condition for its age but there are a few minor spots, handling marks and kinks to the edges.

The Victoria and Albert Museum offers the following very interesting information about the “Triumphal Procession of Emperor Maximilian I” plates:

… “This was one of three large-scale mural projects which together reflected Emperor Maximilian I's (1459-1519) status as Holy Roman Emperor and linked him symbolically with ancient Rome. The project was not finished by the time of Maximilian's death but the set was published later, in 1526.

Hans Burgkmair designed much of the procession, begun in about 1512, with contributions from Albrecht Altdorfer, Hans Springinklee, Hans Beck and Hans Scheufelein. The designs were cut by Jost de Negker's large team of block-cutters.
The two other mural projects include a large Triumphal Arch, about 12 feet high by 10 feet wide and made up of 192 blocks, and a Triumphal Carriage about 8 feet long made up of 8 blocks. These were designed by Albrecht Dürer, with assistance from Hans Springinklee, Wolf Traut and Albrecht Altdorfer.

The procession was not intended for sale. The city of Nuremberg apologised to the Emperor for some impressions from the blocks having been sold. The friezes were intended as gifts for wall display. According to surviving correspondence, Maximilian wanted the procession to 'grace the walls of council chambers and great halls of the empire, proclaiming for posterity the noble aims of their erstwhile ruler'.” (http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O972804/triumph-of-the-emperor-maximilian-woodcut-maximilian-i-holy/

These prints have been sold



“Knights bearing the banners of Bethune, Franeker und Dendremonde”, c.1517, from the series “Triumphal Procession of Emperor Maximilian I”, published by Adam Bartsch (1757–1821)

Original giant woodcut on early laid paper with large margins as published and numbered “87” at the upper right corner (that has been hand corrected to “88”).
Size: (sheet) 42.5 x 60.5 cm

Dodgson 32 (Campbell Dodgson1903, “Catalogue of Early German and Flemish Woodcuts in the BM”, 2 vols, London, British Museum Trustees); Hollstein 552-618 (F W H Hollstein 1954, “German engravings, etchings and woodcuts c.1400-1700”, Amsterdam); Schestag 88




“Knights bearing the banners of Achalm, Echingen und Ortenburg”, c.1517, from the series “Triumphal Procession of Emperor Maximilian I”, published by Adam Bartsch (1757–1821)

Original giant woodcut on early laid paper with large margins as published and numbered “64” at the upper right corner
Size: (sheet) 42 x 60.5 cm

Dodgson 8; Hollstein 552-618; Schestag 64




“Knights bearing the banners of Auxerrois, Maconais and Charolais”, c.1517, from the series “Triumphal Procession of Emperor Maximilian I”, published by Adam Bartsch (1757–1821)

Original giant woodcut on early laid paper with large margins as published and numbered “84” at the upper right corner (that has been hand corrected to “85”).
Size: (sheet) 42 x 60 cm

Dodgson 29; Hollstein 552-618; Schestag 85



“Knights bearing the banners of Säckingen, Hohenberg and Nellenburg”, c.1517, from the series “Triumphal Procession of Emperor Maximilian I”, published by Adam Bartsch (1757–1821)

Original giant woodcut on early laid paper with large margins as published and numbered “62” at the upper right corner.
Size: (sheet) 42.5 x 60 cm

Dodgson 6; Hollstein 552-618; Schestag 62


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