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Bilibaldi Pirkeymheri Effigies Aetatis Suae Anno LIII Vivitur Ingenio Caetera Mortis Erunt MDXXIV

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Albrecht Dürer gave this portrait to his best friend, the humanist scholar Willibald Pirckheimer. He also gave him the copperplate from which it was taken. In giving Pirckheimer the plate as well as the print, Dürer was giving up control over future use of the plate. Evidence from Pirckheimer’s library shows that he used this portrait as a bookplate instead of the actual bookplate also designed by Dürer for his use. Humanists like Pirckheimer sought to revive the classical system of learning through study of ancient Greek and Roman texts. The three-quarter head and shoulder view gives this portrait a classical feel. Below is a plaque imitating a classical stone inscription in Roman style lettering.


Ingenuity: Ingenium, Humanism, Artist, Life, Fame

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Metropolitan Museum of Art

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