ALBRECHT DÜRER

Portrait of a Young Woman

1497

Watercolour on unprimed linen
Inv. No. 937

56.3 × 43.2 cm

zur  Biographie

Although later overpainting and varnishes distort its appearance, this portrait of a young woman at prayer is a so-called “Tüchlein” (little cloth), a watercolour painting executed on the finest linen. Dürer frequently employed this technique for portraits. There is a pendant to the Frankfurt work in the Gemäldegalerie of Berlin, showing a second young woman with braided, pinned-up hair and holding plants of erotic symbolic content. Originally hung side by side, this pair of portraits presumably depicted two daughters, of whom the one in the Städel picture was to devote her life to the service of God, while the other looked forward to marriage.

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