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Friday 21 July 2023

Hans Burgkmair the Elder’s woodcut, “Standard Bearer”, c1517

Hans Burgkmair the Elder (1473–1531)

“Standard Bearer” (TIB title) (aka “Eberpach as Marshal of the Five Offices of Court”; “Standaarddrager”), c1517 (commissioned in 1512; executed between 1516 and 1519), a giant woodcut from the frieze of 139 plates extending to around 54 meters in length titled, “Triumphal Procession of Emperor Maximilian I”, cut by Jost de Negker's (aka Jost Dienecker) (c1485–1548) team of block-cutters (see This impression may be from the 1777 edition of 192 plates published by Adam Bartsch (1757–1821).

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print: (transl.) “Standard carrier with standard and rectangular shield that offers space for a verse. The stand is decorated with laurel wreaths and curly ribbons. An empty text band is shown at the height of the rider's head. This man precedes the group of five seneschal in the series of the triumph of Emperor Maximilian I. They are referred to in the text of the verse, which is missing here” (

Woodcut printed in black on fine buff coloured laid paper, trimmed slightly into the image at top.

Size: (sheet) 38.2 X 26.7 cm.

TIB 11.15 (Tilman Falk [ed.] 1980, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Sixteenth Century German Artists”, vol. 11, New York, Abaris Books, p. 166, cat. no. 15).

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'” (

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression in an excellent condition for its considerable age, trimmed slightly within the image borderline with loss of the standard bearer’s upper finial. The upper and lower left corners are chipped and the verso of the sheet has pencil notations and shows traces of previous mounting in the sense that it must once has been glued to another sheet.

I am selling this extraordinarily large Renaissance period woodcut from from the famous series, “Triumphal Procession of Emperor Maximilian I”, for AU$430 (currently US$287.41/EUR260.05/GBP228.92 at the time of listing this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this exceptionally rare woodcut, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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