Wednesday 21 January 2009

Maximilian the First

I bought this second hand, wood-framed print today:

I knew nothing of this chap at the time of purchasing his portrait, but it seems that he is Maximilian I, Roman Emperor-elect; Archduke of Austria; Duke of Burgundy - born March 22, 1459 – January 12, 1519. He is often referred to as 'the lask Knight', and has a generally excellent rap, despite having had three marriages! According to the inscription on the print, translated from Latin:

"The most powerful, the greatest, and most invincible Emperor Maximilian, who surpassed all the kings and princes of his time in justice, wisdom, magnanimity, [and] generosity, but especially in martial glory and strength of courage. He was born in the year of human salvation 1459, on the day of March 9. He lived 59 years and 9 months, 25 days. He died, however, in the year 1519, in the month of January, on the 12th day. Whom God the Best and Greatest may wish to restore to the number of the living".

In the portrait, Maximilian is holding a broken and bursting open pomegranite, which, in his day, was a symbol of the fullness of Christ's suffering and resurrection.

This is a self portrait of the guy who painted Max - Albrecht Durer, generally regarded as the greatest German Renaissance artist

All this history. And to think that I only bought the print because I liked the way it looked...

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