Lady in Venetian dress contrasted with a Nuremberg “Hausfrau”, ca. 1495

There is a touch of humour in this sketch. The two women from different regions of Europe are walking peacefully side by side and eyeing one another with great curiosity.

Dürer sought to capture the typical characteristics of a woman from Nuremberg (left) and one from Venice, but he achieved far more than a simple costume study. Both women are elegant ladies – Dürer was showing how “one” dressed and conducted oneself in Nuremberg and Venice. The woman from Nuremberg seems rather modest and down-to-earth. The Venetian lady, on the other hand, is wearing a finely woven dress and eye-catching jewellery. Much can be recounted in only a few strokes – do you see the two strands of hair fluttering in the wind?

Photo: Städel Museum – U. Edelmann – ARTOTHEK

Pen and dark greyish brown ink on handmade paper
245 × 159 mm
Inv. No. 696

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