Equestrian Portrait of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I

Emperor Maxmilian on Horseback

1508 and 1518
Hans Burgkmair, the Elder (German, 1473–1531)

Catalogue Raisonné

Bartsch 032; Hollstein 323 (VIa/VII)


Sheet: 33.5 × 22.6 cm (13 3/16 × 8 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Chiaroscuro woodcut; the black line block was cut in 1508 and the tone block was added in 1518

Not On View


Europe, Prints and Drawings



This portrait of Maximilian was one of the earliest experiments in chiaroscuro (tonal or color) woodcut. The black line block was cut in 1508 and the tone block was added in 1518.


Dated in block, on the scroll on the ground: 1518; upper center: . IMP . CAES . MAXIMIL . AVG; printed below the image, lower center, but from a separate block: Jost de Negler zu Augsburg [within a rectangular box]


Signed in block, lower left: . H . BVRGKAMAIR


Watermark: bull's head; verso, in graphite: c 2547; 31; MFA stamp with accession old number in graphite: 28698


J. F. Bright (sold at Sotheby's, July, 1921); purchased 1921;
Second quarter of the 18th century, Consul Joseph Smith (b. about 1682 - d. 1770), Venice. Dr. Richard Bright, MD (b. 1789 - d. 1858), London; by inheritance to his son, Reverend James Franck Bright (Master of University College, Oxford; b. 1832 - d. 1920), Oxford; June 26-28. 1918, his sale, Sotheby's, lot 355, London. Purchased by the MFA. (Accession Date: December 1, 1921)

Credit Line

Stephen Bullard Memorial Fund