An Oriental Ruler Seated on his Throne Albrecht Durer Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Albrecht Durer put together this drawing using pen and black ink on laid paper in around 1495 and it is now owned by the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, USA.

The size of this drawing is approximately 30cm by 20cm, meaning that it almost certainly was originally a part of one of the artist's sketchbooks, before being removed and sold on separately. The work was purchased with help by the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund in 1972.

The composition features the ruler sitting on his throne, with the artist inserting incredible detail on his clothing and accessories as well as the features of the elaborate seat on which he sits. Symbolically, he puts his left hand on a small globe whilst his right hands hovers towards a beautiful but powerful looking sword. Relatively little is known about this artwork, and even less of that has been translated into English, meaning we are restricted somewhat in going into too much detail about this piece.

Durer appreciated this medium because of the sharp detail that it allowed him to implement, particularly important to someone who was so skilled and willing to put every effort in depicting subjects with the most precision possible. When gazing at this drawing it is clear that he paid particular attention to the clothing and jewellery of the ruler, leaving some of these with an extra contrast from being outlined several times further.