Information from the curator, 19 June 2012
Emperor Maximilian I. (1459–1519) is one of the most fascinating personalities in history. By his marriage to Mary of Burgundy, Maximilian I. was closely interconnected to the Netherlands and to Netherlandish art. His daughter Margaret, as Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands, was one of the most important monarchs and patrons of her time and also an important advisor to her father in artistic matters. Sparing no efforts for the representation and self-promotion of his person and to secure his posthumous fame, Maximilian I. employed the best artists and made use of the most modern media of his time. Many of the most important works created for his propaganda and commemoration are preserved in the Albertina. These include not only numerous works of Albrecht Dürer, but also the extraordinary Triumphal procession of Albrecht Altdorfer and his workshop, which will be in the focus of the exhibition. Of the original 109 large-format parchment sheets with flamboyantly colorful representations of riders, magnificent chariots and landsknechts, sheets 49 to 109 are preserved in the Albertina and, compiled as a frieze, amount to a length of more than 54 meters. In addition to this unique work, other important imperial commissions are presented, such as the monumental woodcut Arch of Honor and the book projects Theuerdank, Weisskunig and Freydal. The exhibition features many of the Albertina’s most outstanding pieces from the Dürer period together with precious loans from international museums and is accompanied by a catalogue in German and in English.