The Standard Bearer of Unterwalden, 1521


White-line woodcutexpand_more

Gift of Herschel V. Jones, 1926expand_more  P.10,616

Not on Viewexpand_more

A new type of foot soldier emerged in the sixteenth century-the proud, self-conscious mercenary who cast his lot wherever there was money to be made. Urs Graf glorified this flamboyant type in this unusual white-line woodcut, in which the design is carved into the woodblock and much of the surface is inked. Graf's dramatic technique adds to the figure's brio as he poses in his fashionably slashed costume, with its ostrich plumes and ribbons. Graf was himself a mercenary, with a particularly roguish reputation. He was jailed repeatedly, played vicious pranks, and consorted with harlots. As if to underscore the point, he included a dagger in his monogram, seen near the date on this print.

The Standard Bearer of Unterwalden
Artist Life
c. 1485-c. 1527/1529
Accession Number
Arthur H. Hahlo, 1926
Catalogue Raisonne
Hollstein 33; His. 2 see Pass. I, 429-430
Curator Approved

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