Painted Prints - The Revelation  of Color
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Emperor Maximilian on Horseback
Hans Burgkmair
German, 1473-1531
Woodcut on painted paper, printed in black, gold, and silver
The Cleveland Museum of Art: John L. Severance Fund (1950.72)

Burgkmair produced this woodcut equestrian portrait of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian in 1508. The previous year, the Duke of Saxony had sent Maximilian a painted woodcut of St. George by Lucas Cranach. Full of competitive spirit, Maximilian urged Burgkmair to produce a more beautiful and ingenious painted woodcut.

Whereas Cranach had printed an adhesive from a woodblock onto his St. George and then sprinkled gold dust onto the paste, Burgkmair printed his gold and silver lines with metallic inks on a sheet of paper painted blue. Maximilian must have been pleased with the results because he sent the Duke of Saxony examples of Burgkmair’s work.
Compare the Lucas Cranach print with Burgkmair’s