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Print - Willibald Pirckheimer
  • Willibald Pirckheimer
    Dürer, Albrecht, born 1471 - died 1528
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Willibald Pirckheimer

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Nuremberg (made)

  • Date:

    1524 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dürer, Albrecht, born 1471 - died 1528 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraving on paper

  • Credit Line:

    From the bequest of Miss Alice G. E. Carthew

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case TOPIC, shelf 6C

Albrecht Dürer gave this portrait to his best friend, the humanist scholar Willibald Pirckheimer. He also gave him the copperplate from which it was taken. In giving Pirckheimer the plate as well as the print, Dürer was giving up control over future use of the plate. Evidence from Pirckheimer’s library shows that he used this portrait as a bookplate instead of the actual bookplate also designed by Dürer for his use.

Humanists like Pirckheimer sought to revive the classical system of learning through study of ancient Greek and Roman texts. The three-quarter head and shoulder view gives this portrait a classical feel. Below is a plaque imitating a classical stone inscription in Roman style lettering.

Physical description

Portrait of collector Willibrand Pirckheimer. Head and shoulder three-quarter view, facing left, wearing a fur coat, with inscription in box below.

Place of Origin

Nuremberg (made)


1524 (made)


Dürer, Albrecht, born 1471 - died 1528 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Engraving on paper

Marks and inscriptions

artist's monogram bottom right corner of inscription plaque, on plate

Portrait of Willibald Pirckheimer at the age of fifty-three. We live by the spirit. The rest belongs to death
On top of Cross

right side vertical, upside-down, similar to Briquet 4957 (Cologne 1528)


Height: 18.4 cm trimmed, Width: 11.4 cm trimmed

Descriptive line

Portrait of Willibald Pirckheimer by Albrecht Durer; engraving; Nuremberg, Germany, 1524.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bartsch, Adam von, 1757-1821. The illustrated Bartsch. New York : Abaris Books, 1978-, Vol. x, no. 106 and commentary volume.
Hollstein, F. W. H. German engravings, etchings, and woodcuts, ca. 1400-1700. Amsterdam : M. Hertzberger, 1954-
Panofsky, Erwin. The Life and Art of Albrecht Dürer. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1955, 213.
Bartrum, Giulia. Albrecht Dürer and his Legacy: The Graphic Work of a Renaissance Artist. London British Museum, 2002.
Bartsch, Adam von. Peintre-Graveur. Vienna, 1803-1821.
Panofsky, Erwin. Albrecht Dürer. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1943.
Meder, J. Dürer-Katalog. Vienna, 1932, 103.
Heller, J. Das Leben und die Werke A. Dürers Bamberg, 1827.
Bartrum, Giulia. German Renaissance Prints, 1490-1550. London: British Museum Press, 1995, p. 60.
Dodgson, Campbell. The Masters of Engraving and Etching: Albrecht Dürer. London, British Museum, 1926, 101.
Briquet, Charles-Moïse. Les filigranes. Dictionnaire historique des marques du papier des leur apparition vers 1282 jusqu'en 1600, avec 39 figures dans le texte et 16, 112 facsimilés de filigranes. 1839-1918. Paris, A. Picard & fils & Geneva, A. Jullien, 1907.

Production Note

Bartsch probably state b 'with scratch in curls above forehead and over G of EFFIGIES'. However Watermark looks something like Narrow High Crown of state a (though not exactly) and not Small Jug as indicated for state b; also the bib is fairly faint but no scratch from right as indicated in Bartsch for state c and not Watermark of state c.


Ink; Paper



Subjects depicted



Prints; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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