Copies after Dürer in the Brukenthal art collections
Autor: Valentin Mureşan
Cuvinte cheie: Copii după Dürer, pictură de şevalet, pictură germană, Colecţia Brukenthal
Keywords: Copies after Dürer, easel painting, German Painting, Brukenthal Colection
În introducere, autorul face câteva consideraţii privind diferenţa între copii, interpretări şi falsuri, precum şi despre situaţia acestora în sec. XVIII, când Samuel Brukenthal a achiziţionat tablourile din colecţia sa. În cadrul şcolii de pictură germană şi austriacă, în această colecţie, există patru copii (pictură de şevalet), după lucrări de Albrecht Dürer, care constituie subiectul acestui studiu: Naşterea Mariei, (ulei pe lemn 146 x 100 cm.), nr. inv. 337, Sfântul Eustaţiu (ulei pe lemn 37 x 27 cm.), nr. inv. 338, Naşterea lui Christos (ulei pe lemn 18 x 13, 5 cm.), nr. inv. 339 şi Moartea Mariei (ulei pe lemn 51,5 x 66,7 cm.), nr. inv. 801.
As an introduction the author makes some considerations regarding the differences between the copies, interpretations and forgeries as well as their situation in the 18th century when Samuel von Brukenthal gathered the paintings in his collection. Within the German and Austrian School of painting, in this collection there are four copies (easel paintings) after Albrecht Dürer; this being the subject of the present work.
Mary’s Birth (oil on wood 146 x 100cm), inventory number 337 (Image 1). The painting is a copy after Dürer’s engraving having the same title, but it was acquired by Brukenthal as a genuine one by Dürer. After a while, namely in 1844, it was considered a copy after Dürer by Hans von Kulmbach (1480 – 1532). Later, Th. Frimmel (in 1894) established that the painting is a copy in oil by Augustin Braun (working in Köln round 1591-1639).
Saint Eustace (oil on wood 37 x 27cm), inventory number 338 (Image 4) is also a copy in oil by an anonymous painter belonging to the 16th century. It was also bought by Brukenthal as a genuine Dürer’s work. It was actually painted after an engraving having the same title by the master in Nürnberg.
Jesus Christ Birth (oil on wood, 18 x 13,5cm), inventory number 339 (Image 6) is another work that Samuel von Brukenthal acquired as a genuine Dürer’s work, being signed (monogram A. D.) and dated 1504. The work proofed to be closer to a forge, as it copied thoroughly the engraving having the same title by Dürer, the painter forged the signature, changing it place in order to make it more visible as it was in the genuine work.
The painting entitled Mary’s Death (oil on wood 51,5 x 66,7cm) inventory number 801 (Image 8) was also considered a genuine one when it was bought and also in the catalogue in 1844. Although Th. Frimmel (1894) considered it a forgery, the Catalogues of the Art Gallery in 1901 and 1909 considered it a copy by a Dutch painter round 1600. Niels Holst from Frankfurt am Main, that studied during the 30th of the 20th century the paintings in the Brukenthal Art Gallery, wrote a study about the forge of the German art during Brukenthal time and he also mentioned this work as a free copy of the 18th century after a work by Ph. Galle (it being made by this painter after a grissaile by Pieter Brueghel) and being sold as a genuine Dürer’s work.
In the end the author reminds also about the famous painting by Jan van Eyck The Man in the Blue Cap) belonging to the Brukenthal Art Gallery is also a forged Dürer that still has the monogram A. D. and the year 1894 and it was the same Th. Frimmel who was the first to discover the real author of the painting.