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After Albrecht Dürer, The Painter's Father

Key facts
Full title The Painter's Father
Artist After Albrecht Dürer
Artist dates 1471 - 1528
Date made 1497
Medium and support Oil on lime
Dimensions 51 × 40.3 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated and inscribed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1904
Inventory number NG1938
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Painter's Father
After Albrecht Dürer

This portrait of Dürer’s father, who is identifiable by the inscription, was given as a gift to King Charles I of England in 1636. When Charles was executed in 1649, it was sold. It eventually entered the National Gallery’s collection in the early twentieth century.

There are four versions of the picture, but the National Gallery’s is the only one that matches an inventory description of 1639, where the sitter is described as having a black cap, and ‘a dark yellow gown wherein his hands are hidden in the wide sleeves painted upon a reddish ground all crack’t.’

The picture is probably a later sixteenth-century copy of a lost original by Dürer. The colour of the background and the unusual technique used to apply it – in one thick layer of paint, rather than in multiple ones – are not typical for the artist. This method of paint application also created the cracks (now covered by restoration).

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