Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title Reverberation of Classical Subjects and Forms in the Art Commissions of the Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg
Author email
About author Frolova, Liudmila Valer’evna — Ph. D. student. Saint Petersburg State University, Universitetskaia nab., 7/9, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
In the section The Art of Classical Antiquity in the Mirror of the Renaissance DOI10.18688/aa155-5-54
Year 2015 Volume 5 Pages 492501
Type of article RAR Index UDK 7.034(430) Index BBK 85.03

Influence of Classical antiquity upon official art at the court of the Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg is an actual problem that has never been specially considered before. Subjects, images and forms elaborated in the Classical world are displayed in the works of art designed by German artists according to Maximilian’s order. It is evident, for instance, in his cenotaph (1511–1563, Innsbruck, Hofkirche), woodcut series “Triumphal Procession” (1516–1519) and “Arch of Honor” (1515), illustrations to the Emperor’s autobiographical novel “Weisskunig” (ca 1512–1519). Certain historical and mythological characters played a special role in the Emperor’s self-presentation — Roman emperors and mythological characters like Apollo, muses, and satyrs are among them. Various Classical subjects and forms were highly valued by the Emperor, his counselors and artists. Maximilian I paid attention to Classical military and ecclesiastical history. Scholars, who worked out the programme of the Emperor’s official art and propaganda by means of fine arts, considered Classical period as a cradle of science, education and fine arts. Artists took Classical and modern Italian pieces of art, which were regarded as genuine Classical art works, for a model. Ancient and also Italian Renaissance coins, medals and woodcuts are possible sources of Classical forms for the masters from Maximilian’s milieu. A. Dürer and some other masters of his circle attempted to reconstruct Classical regulations on depicting human being’s proportions. This search and efforts are also
evidet in the works, created for Maximilian I.

Reference Liudmila Frolova. Reverberation of Classical Subjects and Forms in the Art Commissions of the Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 5. Eds: Svetlana V. Maltseva, Ekaterina Yu. Stanyukovich-Denisova, Anna V. Zakharova. St. Petersburg, NP-Print Publ., 2015, pp. 492–501. ISSN 2312-2129.
Publication Article language russian
  • Bartsch A. Le Peintre graveur, 21 vol. Viena, De l`imprimerie de J. V. Degen Publ., 1803 (in French).
  • Bragina L. M. Erasmus of Rotterdam about the Role of Italian Humanists in European Culture. Dolgoe srednevekov’e (Long Middle Ages). Moscow, Kuchkovo Pole Publ., 2011, pp. 107–115 (in Russian).
  • Celtis K. Quattuor libri amorum secundum quattuor latera Germaniae: Germania generalis. Accedunt carmina aliorum ad libros amorum pertinentia. Lipsiae, Teubner Publ., 1934. 127 p. (in Latin).
  • Celtis K. Conradus Celtis Protucius. Lipsiae, Teubner Publ., 1937. 127 p. (in Latin).
  • Celtis K. Fünf Bücher Epigramme. Berlin, Verlag von S. Calvary Publ., 1881. 153 p. (in German).
  • Dmitrieva M. Je. Antiquity in the Appreciation by German Humanists and in A. Dürer’s Works. Problemy istorii dokapitalisticheskih formacij (Problems of History of Pre-capitalistic Formations). Moscow, Moscow State University Publ., 1978, pp. 137–150 (in Russian).
  • Dmitrieva M. Je. Classical Figures and Subjects in the Art of German Renaissance. Problemy istorii antichnosti i srednih vekov (Problems of Ancient and Medieval History). Moscow, Moscow State University Publ., 1978, pp. 158–174 (in Russian).
  • Doronin A. V. Fable and National History in German Renaissance Culture. Mif v kul’ture Vozrozhdenija (Myth in Renaissance Culture). Moscow, Science Publ., 2003, pp. 198–209 (in Russian).
  • Eusebius of Caesarea. Ecclesiastical History. Available at:,_Eusebius_Caesariensis,_Church_History,_EN.pdf (Accessed: February 24, 2015)
  • Henig M. “Et in Arcadia Ego”: Satyrs and Maenads in the Ancient World and Beyond. Studies in the History of Art, 1997, vol. 54, pp. 22–31.
  • Hollstein F. W. H. German Engravings, Etchings and Woodcuts c.1400–1700, vol. I–XVa. Amsterdam, M. Hertzberger Publ., 1954–1986.
  • Bevers H; Luijten G.; Mielke U. (eds.). New Hollstein German Engravings, Etchings and Woodcuts. 1400–1700. Amsterdam, Albrecht and Erhard Altdorfer Hauswedell Publ., 1997. 274 p
  • Horn Ch. M. Doctor Conrad Peutingers Beziehungen zu Kaiser Maximilian I. Ph. D. Thesis (unpublished). Graz, 1977, 192 p. (in German).
  • Kaulbach H.-M. Neues vom Weisskunig. Geschichte und Selbstdarstellung Kaiser Maximilian I in Holzschnitten. Stuttgart, Graphische Sammlung Staatgalerie Stuttgart Publ., 1994. 18 p. (in German).
  • Kovalyov V. A. The Truth of the Myth of Power: Continuity and Discontinuity in Royal Acclamation Ceremonial in the End of the 14th – Beginning of the 17th century. Korolevskij dvor v Anglii XV–XVII vekov (Royal court in England in the 15th–17th centuries). Proceedings of State St. Petersburg University, vol. 7. Saint Petersburg, State Saint Petersburg University Publ., 2011, pp. 295–365 (in Russian).
  • Koreny F. “Ottoprecht Fürscht” eine unbekannte Zeichnung von Albrecht Dürer. Kaiser Maximilian I und sein Grabmal in der Hofkirche zu Innsbruck. Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen, 1989, vol. 31, pp. 127–148 (in German).
  • Leidinger G. Albrecht Dürer und die “Hypnerotomachia Poliphili”. München, Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften Publ., 1929. 36 p. (in German).
  • Libman M. Ya. About the iconography of «The Nymph of the Spring» by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Ocherki nemetskogo iskusstva pozdnego srednevekov’ia i epokhi Vozrozhdeniia (Studies of German art of Middle Ages and Rainessance). Moscow, Sovetskii khudozhnik Publ., 1991, pp. 149–152 (in Russian).
  • Michel E. Triumphzug Kaiser Maximilians I. Kaiser Maximilian und die Kunst der Dürerzeit. München — London — New York, Prestel Publ., 2013, pp. 268–273 (in German).
  • Müller M. F.; Röver-Kann A. Künstler und Kaiser. Albrecht Dürer und Kaiser Maximilian I. Der Triumph des römischdeutschen Kaiserhofes: Ausstellungskatalog Kunsthalle Bremen. Bremen, Werbedruck Bremen H. M. Hauschild Publ., 2003. 112 p. (in German).
  • Panofsky E. Albrecht Dürer and Classical Antiquity. Meaning in the Visual Arts. Garden City, New York, Doubleday Publ., 1955, pp. 236–294.
  • Polleroß F. Tradition und Innovation. Kaiser Maximilian I im Porträt. Kaiser Maximilian und die Kunst der Dürerzeit. München — London — New York, Prestel Publ., 2013, pp. 101–115 (in German).
  • Silver L. Marketing Maximilian. The Virtual Ideology of a Holy Roman Emperor. Princeton — Oxford, Princeton University Press Publ., 2008. 304 p.
  • Warburg A. M. Heidnisch-antike Weissagung in Wort und Bild zu Luthers Zeiten. Heidelberg, Winter Publ., 1920. 102 p. (in German).
  • Wood Ch. S. Maximilian I as Archeologist. Renaissance Quarterly, 2005, vol. 58, no. 4, pp. 1128–1174.