Overview

Although the sitter's identity is not verified, he is possibly Johann Dorsch, a cleric in Nuremberg. The clergyman's ardor, spiritual zeal, and intense determination are communicated through the turn of the head, the fixed, staring eyes, and the tight, compressed lips.

With great respect for reality, Dürer has recorded every detail of the man's appearance regardless of how small or unimportant it may be: the wrinkles and lines of the face, the individual strands of fine hair, the coarse skin texture, and even the reflection of window panes in the irises of the eyes. This incisive clarity and accuracy derive in large part from Dürer's experience in the graphic arts.

The portrait is of further interest for having been painted on parchment rather than on wood, which was still the most common support. Experimenting with techniques and materials, Dürer also used silk and linen at times. The animal skin gives the paint surface a fine, smooth quality and lends amazing richness to the oil colors.

Inscription

upper right: 1516 / AD (in monogram)

Marks and Labels

null

Provenance

Paul von Praun [d. 1616] and descendents, Nuremberg, by 1719 until at least 1801.[1] Count Johann Rudolph Czernin von Chudenitz [1757-1845], Vienna, by 1821;[2] by inheritance through the family of the Counts Czernin, Vienna; Count Eugen Czernin von Chudenitz [1892-1955], Vienna, until 1950; (Frederick Mont, New York, and Newhouse Galleries, New York);[3] purchased 1950 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1952 to NGA.

Exhibition History

1928
Albrecht Dürer Ausstellung, Germanisches Museum, Nuremberg, 1928, no. 61.
1948
Loaned to a small exhibition of portraits of Huldrych Zwingli, Schweizerisches Landesmuseum, Zurich, 1948-1949, no cat.
2007
Durero y Cranach: Arte y Humanismo en la Alemania del Renacimento, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, 2007-2008, no. 105, repro.
2013
Albrecht Dürer: His Art in Context, Städel Museum, Frankfurt, 2013-2014, no. 4.9, repro.

Bibliography

1769
Schöber, David Gottfried. Albrecht Dürers, eines der grössesten Meister und Künstler seiner Zeit, Leben, Schriften u. Kunstwerke. Leipzig and Schleiz, 1769: 162.
1778
Murr, Christophe Gottlieb von. Beschreibung der vornehmsten Merkwürdigkeiten in des H.R. Reichs freyen Stadt Nürnberg und auf der hohen Schule zu Altdorf. Nürnberg, 1778: 470, no. 119.
1797
Murr, Christophe Theophile de. Description du Cabinet de Monsieur Paul de Praun à Nuremberg. Nürnberg, 1797: 14, no. 119.
1823
Böckh, Franz Heinrich. Merkwürdigkeiten der Haupt-und Residenz-Stadt Wien und ihrer nächsten Umgebungen: Ein Handbuch für Einheimische und Fremde. 2 vols. Vienna, 1823: 1:296.
1827
Heller, Joseph. Das Leben und die Werke Albrecht Dürers. 3 vols. Bamberg, 1827: 2:231, no. 6, 260, no. e.
1866
Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Die vornehmsten Kunstdenkmäler in Wien. 2 vols. Vienna, 1866: 1:298, no. 28.
1876
Thausing, Mariz. Dürer: Geschichte seines Lebens und seiner Kunst. Leipzig, 1876: 384. (English ed. Albert Dürer, His Life and Works. 2 vols. London, 1882, 2:132.).
1891
Katalog der Gemälde-Gallerie seiner Excellenz des Grafen Jaromir Czernin von Chudenitz. Vienna, 1891: 17, no. 164 (also subsequent catalogues, 1903, 1908, 1936).
1893
Thode, Henry. "Drei Porträts von Albrecht Dürer." Jahrbuch der königlich Preussischen Kunstsammlungen. 14 (1893): 210.
1905
Weixlgärtner, Arpad. Review of Dürer, Des Meisters Gemälde: Kupferstiche und Holzschnitte in 447 Abbildungen. Leipzig and Stuttgart, 1904. (Klassiker der Kunst in Gesamtausgaben, vol. 4), Valentin Scherer, ed. In Die Graphischen Künste, suppl. Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Vervielfältigende Kunst 28, nos. 3/4 (1905): 69. Of no. 50 in Scherer, "Scheint mir kein Dürer zu sein."
1908
Scherer, Valentin, ed. Dürer: Des Meisters Gemälde, Kupferstiche und Holzschnitte in 473 Abbildungen. (Klassiker der Kunst in Gesamtausgaben, vol. 4) 3rd ed. Stuttgart and Leipzig, 1908: 393, repro. 55.
1914
Friedländer, Max J. "Dürer, Albrecht." In Thieme-Becker 37 vols. 1907-1950. Leipzig, 1914: 10:70.
1916
Waldmann, Emil. Albrecht Dürer. Leipzig, 1916: 89, no. 57, repro.
1928
Flechsig, Eduard. Albrecht Dürer, sein Leben und seine Künstlerische Entwicklung. 2 vols. Berlin, 1928: 1:411-412.
1928
Winkler, Friedrich. Dürer. Des Meisters Gemälde, Kupferstiche und Holzschnitte. (Klassiker der Kunst, 4th ed.) Berlin and Leipzig, 1928: 416, repro. 59.
1934
Kleine Mitteilungen: "Ein neuer Dürer." Technische Mitteilungen für Malerei 50 (1934): 115-116.
1934
Tietze Hans. "Das Dürerbild der Sammlung Czernin." Pantheon 13-14 (April 1934): 110, repro.
1936
Wilczek, Karl. Katalog der Graf Czernin'schen Gemäldegalerie in Wien. Vienna, 1936: 34, no. 164, repro.
1937
Tietze, Hans, and Erika Tietze-Conrat. Kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke Albrecht Dürers. 3 vols. Basel and Leipzig, 1937: 2:119, no. 663, repro. 278.
1943
Panofsky, Erwin. Albrecht Dürer. 2 vols. Princeton, 1943: 1:192; 2:18, no. 81.
1946
Hoffmann, Hans. "Zu Dürers Bildnis eines jungen Mannes in der Galerie Czernin in Wien." In Oskar Farner, Huldrych Zwingli. Seine Entwicklung zum Reformator 1506-1520. 3 vols. Zurich, 1946: 2:425-436, frontispiece.
1948
Braune, Heinz. "Zu Dürers 'Zwinglibildnis' im Landesmuseum." Neue Zürcher Zeitung 169, no. 2595 (6 December, 1948): 13.
1948
"Ein Zwingli-Bildis von Dürer?" Atlantis 20 (January 1948): 27-29, repros.
1948
Hoffmann, Hans. "Ein mutmassliches Bildnis Huldrych Zwinglis." Zwingliana. Beiträge zur Geschichte Zwinglis 7, no. 9 (1948): 497-501, repro.
1949
"Albrecht Dürers muttmassliches Zwinglibildnis." Reformierte Schweiz 6, no. 3 (March 1949): cover, t.p. repro.
1949
"Ausstellungen." In Schweizerisches Landesmuseum in Zürich, Siebenundfünfzigster Jahresbericht 1948 (1949): 12.
1951
"Ausstellungen." In Schweizerisches Landesmuseum in Zürich, Achtundfünfzigster und Neunundfünfzigster Jahresbericht 1949/50 (1951): 17.
1951
"Dürers 'Zwingli' ging nach USA." Die Weltkunst 21 (1 January 1951): 4, repro.
1951
Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Collection Acquired by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation 1945-1951. Introduction by John Walker, text by William E. Suida. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1951: 194, no. 85, repro.
1954
Tietze, Hans. Treasures of the Great National Galleries. New York, 1954: 117, 122, pl. 299.
1955
Bushbeck, Ernst H. "Die Czernin'sche Gemäldegalerie und die 'Sammlung Czernin'." In Katalog der Residenzgalerie Salzburg mit Sammlung Czernin. Salzburg, 1955: 21.
1955
Shapley, Fern Rusk. "The National Gallery of Art at Washington: Acquisitions 1945-1955." The Studio 150 (July 1955): 6, repro. 3.
1956
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1956: 38, repro.
1957
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Comparisons in Art: A Companion to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. London, 1957 (reprinted 1959): pl. 70
1957
Winkler, Friedrich. Albrecht Dürer. Leben und Werk. Berlin, 1957: 268, repro. fig. 138.
1959
Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959: 305, repro.
1960
Broadley Hugh T. German Painting in the National Gallery of Art (Booklet no. 9 in Ten Schools of Painting in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC). Washington, 1960: 5, 24-25, color repro.
1960
The National Gallery of Art and Its Collections. Foreword by Perry B. Cott and notes by Otto Stelzer. National Gallery of Art, Washington (undated, 1960s): 10, 19, repro.
1961
Seymour, Charles. Art Treasures for America: An Anthology of Paintings & Sculpture in the Samuel H. Kress Collection. London, 1961: 80, 210, color fig. 72.
1962
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds., Treasures from the National Gallery of Art, New York, 1962: 72-73, color repro.
1962
Neugass, Fritz. "Die Auflösung der Sammlung Kress." Die Weltkunst 32 (1 January 1962): 4.
1963
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 118, repro. 119.
1965
Cooke, H. Lester. Galeria Nacional de Washington. Translated by Maria Teresa de la Cruz. Madrid, 1965: 220-221, repros.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 46.
1966
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds. A Pageant of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. New York, 1966: 1:112-113, color repro.
1966
Musper, Heinrich Theodor. Albrecht Dürer. Translated by Robert Eric Wolf. New York, [1966]: 26.
1968
Christensen, Erwin O. A Guide to Art Museums in the United States. New York, 1968: 130, no. 280, fig.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture: Illustrations (Companion to the Summary Catalogue, 1965). Washington, 1968: 38, no. 1100, repro.
1968
Gandolf, Giampaolo et al. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Great Museums of the World. New York, 1968: 102, color repro.
1968
Zampa, Giorgio and Angela Ottino della Chiesa. L'opera completa di Dürer. Milan, 1968: 110, no. 148, repro.
1970
Bialostocki, Jan. "The Eye and the Window: Realism and Symbolism of Light-Reflections in the Art of Albrecht Dürer and His Predecessors." Festschrift für Gert von der Osten. Cologne, 1970: 159, 164, 161, fig. 4.
1970
Cooke, Hereward Lester. The National Gallery of Art in Washington. Munich and Ahrbeck/Hanover, 1970: 88-89, color fig. 41.
1971
Anzelewsky, Fedja. Albrecht Dürer: Das malerische Werk. Berlin, 1971: 242, no. 133, pl. 163-165. (Rev. ed. 1991 248-249, no. 133, color pl. 162.)
1972
Farner, Konrad. "Hat Dürer Zwingli gemalt?" In Zürich-Aspekte eines Kantons. Edited by Daniel Bodmer, et al. Zürich, 1972: 146-152, repro.
1973
Oehler, Lisa. "Das Dürermonogramm auf Werken der Dürerschule." Städel-Jahrbuch N.F. 4 (1973): 63, 70-71, fig. 27.
1975
Cinotti, Mia, ed. The National Gallery of Art of Washington and Its Paintings. Great Galleries of the World. Edinburgh, 1975: unpaginated, no. 94, repro.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue (National Gallery of Art). Washington, 1975: 116-117, no. 1100, repro.
1975
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, [1975]: 152-153, color repro.
1976
Strieder, Peter. Dürer. Milan, 1976: 139, 186, no. 52, repros.
1977
Eisler, Colin. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools Excluding Italian. Oxford, 1977: 16-19, fig. 17.
1979
Hadley, Rollin van N. "What Might Have Been: Pictures Mrs. Gardner Did Not Acquire." Fenway Court (1979): 44, repro.
1979
Watson, Ross. The National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1979: 56-57, pl. 39.
1980
Anzelewsky, Fedja. Dürer--vie et oeuvre. Translated by Monique Fuchs. Fribourg, 1980: 187-188, 191-192, fig. 181.
1980
Buschbeck, Ernst H. "Die Geschichte der Sammlung Czernin." In Residenzgalerie mit Sammlung Czernin und Sammlung Schönborn-Buchheim: Katalog mit Kurzführer in Deutsch und Englisch. Salzburg, 1980: 19. (English translation as supplement; "History of the Collection Czernin": 18.)
1982
Anzelewsky, Fedja. Dürer: His Art and Life. Translated by Heide Grieve. London, 1982: 182-183, 187-188, fig. 181.
1982
Mende, Matthias. "Dürers Bildnis des Kaspar Nützel." Mitteilungen des Vereins für Geschichte der Stadt Nürnberg 69 (1982): 130, 132, 136, 138-139, fig. 8.
1982
Strieder, Peter. Albrecht Dürer. Paintings. Prints. Drawings. Translated from German by Nancy M. Gordon and Walter L. Strauss. New York, 1982: 242-243, fig. 284.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 152, no. 161, color repro.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 141, repro.
1987
Berenson, Bernard, and Isabella Stewart Gardner. The Letters of Bernard Berenson and Isabella Stewart Gardner 1887-1924. Edited by Rollin van Hadley. Boston, 1987: 139, 140-141, 143, 144.
1988
Southgate, M. Therese. "The Cover." Journal of the American Medical Association 260, no. 21 (2 December 1988): cover, 3,101, color repro.
1992
National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 64, repro.
1993
Hand, John Oliver, with the assistance of Sally E. Mansfield. German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, 1993: 61-66, color repro. 63.
1995
Löcher, Kurt. Review of German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries, by John Oliver Hand with the assistance of Sally E. Mansfield. Kunstchronik 43 no. 1 (January 1995): 16.
1997
Hammerschmied, Ilse. Albrecht Dürers kunsttheoretische Schriften. Egelsbach, 1997: 252-253, 345, fig. 38.
2001
Mende, Matthias. "Dürer, Albrecht." In Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon: Die bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker. Munich and Leipzig, 1992-[unfinished] [vols.] Munich and Leipzig, 2001: 30:301.
2001
Southgate, M. Therese. The Art of JAMA II: Covers and Essays from The Journal of the American Medical Association. Chicago, 2001: 48-49, 209, color repro.
2004
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 144-145, no. 112, color repro.
2010
Luber, Katherine Crawford. “Dürer as Painter.” In The Essential Dürer, edited by Larry Silver and Jeffrey Chipps Smith. Philadelphia, 2010: 68, 69.
2014
Sander, Jochen. "Dürer face à ses contemporains." L'object d'art 497 (janvier 2014): cover, table of contents, color repros.

Technical Summary

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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