DÜRER, Albrecht
(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)

Portrait of Elsbeth Tucher

Oil on wood, 29 x 23 cm
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Kassel

Elsbeth Tucher (née Pusch) is portrayed against an ornate brocade hanging. At the top of the panel is the inscription, `Elsbeth Niclas Tucher at 26 years 1499'. This is the right wing of a diptych, but the left wing portraying her husband Niclas is missing. Elsbeth holds her wedding ring and the clasp of her blouse is formed with the initials NT, presumably a gift from her husband. The initials WW worked into her blouse and the mysterious letters MHIMNSK on the band over her voluminous headscarf have so far defied interpretation. Just visible on her shoulders is a gold necklace, evidence of her social standing. Above the parapet on the left of the panel is a landscape, with a wood-fringed lake leading to distant mountains, set beneath a stormy sky.

Dürer also painted matching portraits of the brother of Niclas, Hans Tucher and his wife Felicitas (née Rieter). In this diptych, it is the husband who holds a ring and his wife a flower.