Skip to main content

Master of the Mornauer Portrait, Portrait of Alexander Mornauer

Key facts
Full title Portrait of Alexander Mornauer
Artist Master of the Mornauer Portrait
Artist dates probably active about 1460 - 1488
Date made about 1464-88
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 45.2 × 38.7 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1990
Inventory number NG6532
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of Alexander Mornauer
Master of the Mornauer Portrait

This painting reflects the simple and direct manner of German portraiture of the late fifteenth century. It was once thought to be a portrait by Holbein of the German religious reformer Martin Luther, but the sitter is in fact Alexander Mornauer, town clerk of Landshut in Bavaria; the letter he holds is addressed to himself.

Cleaning also revealed the wood-grain background, which had been overpainted with a layer of Prussian blue, a pigment that only became available to artists in the early eighteenth century. The colour was similar to one often used by Hans Holbein the Younger, the most accomplished of sixteenth-century portraitists. Whoever made this change may have wished to pass the portrait off as a work by Holbein, which would have had more value than a painting by an unknown German artist.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo