National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Portrait of a Clergyman (Johann Dorsch?) Albrecht Dürer (artist)
German, 1471 - 1528
Portrait of a Clergyman (Johann Dorsch?), 1516
oil on parchment on fabric
painted surface: 41.7 x 32.7 cm (16 7/16 x 12 7/8 in.) support: 43 x 33 cm (16 15/16 x 13 in.) framed: 60.5 x 51.3 x 4.4 cm (23 13/16 x 20 3/16 x 1 3/4 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1952.2.17
On View
From the Tour: German Painting and Sculpture in the Late 1400s and 1500s
Object 6 of 12

Conservation Notes

There are scored lines at the junction of the painted surface and the unpainted edges, and these appear to be part of the preparation of the parchment. The unpainted area is not intact along the right edge. The parchment has been adhered to a single-thread, plain-weave fabric then mounted on a stretcher.[1] It is not known when the lining took place - although Eisler suggests the early nineteenth cenury[2] - or if there was, as seems likely, an original auxiliary support, probably wood. The paint surface is marred by weave interference that presumably occurred during the lining process. There is no evidence of a ground under the paint layer, and examination with infrared reflectography did not disclose underdrawing. The green background seems to have been put in first, with space left for the head and clothing. A significant design change occurs in the chin, which is larger than the space allotted for it.

There are several tears in the parchment along the bottom, left, and top edges. Areas of abrasion are visible, particularly in the neck and hair on the right of the face, and there are extensive pinpoint losses. There are small losses in the eyes and the mouth, possibly the result of vandalism that took place before 1934.[3]


[1] Several authors, beginning with Tietze and Tietze-Conrat 1937 and including Panofsky 1943 and Anzelewsky 1971, have mistakenly listed wood as the auxiliary support for the parchment.
[2] Eisler 1977, 16.
[3] The hole in the lips is mentioned in Tietze 1934, 110.

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