First edition; one sheet from a set of eight woodcuts

Large Triumphal Carriage of Maximilian I, probably finished c. 1518 (published 1522)

Not on Viewexpand_more

Dürer's magnificent allegorical design for the Imperial chariot was originally commissioned in 1512 as the centerpiece of Maximilian's Triumphal Procession, one of the most ambitious projects in the history of the graphic arts. Dürer's elaborately embellished carriage was intended to form the climax of the entire procession, showering the Emperor in personal glory, while underscoring his dynastic power. The final fully elaborated drawing for the woodcut was completed only in 1518, and the woodcut remained unfinished at the time of the Emperor's death in 1519.

In 1522, Dürer published the Triumphal Chariot himself as an independent woodcut dedicated to the Emperors Maximilian and Charles V. The print differs from the original design in the addition of printed text explaining the various symbolism of the work and a short history of its production. Dürer also omitted the Emperor's family from the composition, for after Maximilian's death it seemed fitting to interpret his "triumph," not as a dynastic manifesto but as a personal apotheosis.

Large Triumphal Carriage of Maximilian I
Artist Life
Accession Number
Herschel V. Jones., Minneapolis; given to MIA, 1925.
Catalogue Raisonne
Bartsch VII.154.139; Hollstein 252 A-H; Meder 1932 252; Dodgson 1903, 1911 I.338.145; Schoch 2001-04 II.257
Curator Approved

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First edition; one sheet from a set of eight woodcuts