After Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528): An early 19th century stained glass panel depicting a port
Lot 111
Attributed to Julius Schnorr von Carolsfield (German, 1794-1872): An early 19th century stained glass panel depicting a portrait of Erasmus of Rotterdam after Albrecht Durerdated 1828
Sold for £1,560 (US$ 2,436) inc. premium

Lot Details
Attributed to Julius Schnorr von Carolsfield (German, 1794-1872): An early 19th century stained glass panel depicting a portrait of Erasmus of Rotterdam after Albrecht Durer
dated 1828
shown seated at his desk writing surrounded by open books, with a floral and foliate stylised border and mounted in a stained and moulded wood frame, 41cm high x 35cm wide

Footnotes

  • The present stained glass is a direct copy of the famous engraving of 1526 by Durer of the Catholic reformer and important humanist Erasmus. The inscription behind Erasmus reads in both Latin and ancient Greek "This image of Erasmus of Rotterdam was drawn from life by Albrecht Dürer."

    The relationship between sitter and artist was one of mutual respect and admiration; Dürer met Erasmus at least once in Brussels and twice in Rotterdam during a trip to the Netherlands in 1520 and 1521. Although he sketched Erasmus several times during his trip, he did not execute the engraving until six years later. The image depicts Erasmus in his study surrounded by books alluding to his scholarly preoccupation and renowned intellect, and a vase of lilies resting on the table may be an allusion to the purity of his mind. The use of both Latin and ancient Greek is a reference to Erasmus's humanistic interests. Although sadly Erasmus was disappointed with the portrait and made this known to at least two of his colleagues; it is now considered to be one of the most inciteful and accomplished portraits of the time.

    The attribution to Schnorr von Carolsfield, a German painter and one of the Nazarene artists; is due to his admiration and preoccupation with Durer and his later designs for many important commissions of stained glass. 1828 is a relatively early date in the history of 19th century stained glass, commercial production did not commence until the 1830s, and this subject matter and style is not consistent with British glass production at this time. In 1828 Schnorr had recently returned from Rome where he had been working amongst fellow Nazarenes, to Munich under the patronage of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. He engaged in a wide range of artistic activities whilst in Munich, where the royal factory was (somewhat later) to become a major force in stained glass production - and indeed produced the windows for St Paul's Cathedral, based on Carolsfield's designs.

    The painter's renown in Germany secured commissions in Great Britain. Schnorr made designs, carried out in the royal factory, Munich, for windows in Glasgow cathedral and in St Paul's Cathedral, London. This Munich glass provoked controversy: medievalists objected to its want of lustre, and stigmatized the windows as coloured blinds and picture transparencies; whilst others admired its union of the linear qualities of Florentine paintings with an appreciation of 16th century stained glass designs.
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