Description of the picture:
Portrait of a father – Albrecht Durer. 1497. Oil on canvas. 51×40.3
Dürer father, Hungarian by birth, was a jeweler. The artist painted it more than once, at least as early as 1490 (Uffizi Gallery – Florence).
The presented work is signed as follows: “1497. Albrecht Durer Senior at the age of 70. ” Several versions of the portrait are known. Although the head of the model was painted carefully, the picture was not finished. In this portrait, the father naturally looks older than on the aforementioned early canvas, his lips are thinner, his features are sharper, his eyes are more penetrating. In a word, he is old, and the artist uncompromisingly states this. Five years later, his father passed away.
The year after the creation of this portrait, Dürer painted a self-portrait, now kept at the Prado Museum in Madrid. It is possible that two works hung in one room in the artist’s house or were even conceived as paired: they are the same size and half-figured. Despite the difference in the models in clothes (natural when they are of different age), portraits are harmoniously combined.
In 1636, both canvases were presented to the Duke Arundel by the mayors of Nuremberg for donation to the English king Charles I. In 1650, Cromwell sold the paintings. “Portrait of the father” remained in England, and subsequently, in 1904, it was acquired by the National Gallery."