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

Triumphal Arch (entire view)

Woodcut, 341 x 292 cm
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg

Stabius contributed an explanation which, printed in two columns, was added below the Triumphal Arch. It divides the contents of the whole composition into: 1. three gateways: Honour (in the middle), Praise (left), Nobility (right); 2. middle tower, i. e. the tower over the chief gateway; this contains the genealogical tree of the Emperor, flanked by 57 escutcheons; 3. the deeds of Maximilian in 24 scenes above the two gateways, on each side twelve compartments showing historical scenes from the Emperor's life; and in addition twelve half lengths of Kings of Rome, of Italy and of the Roman empire from Caesar to Sigismund on the left side, and twelve half lengths of contemporary princes on the right side; 4. and 5. busts of emperors and kings on the left, and of kinsmen on the right (with the two outside pairs of columns); 6. the two corner towers with eleven subjects; 7. the ornament (which Stabius describes in the fourth and fifth columns). The whole was erected before the Emperor, says Stabius, "as in olden times the arcus triumphales before the Roman Emperors in the city of Rome".

The whole, three metres high, is composed of 192 wood blocks. Dürer's share consisted of: 1. the middle gateway except the genealogical tree, coats of arms and cupola); 2. the big flanking middle columns with the ornamental statues, griffins and drummers; 3. ornamental portions especially the tops of the two side pieces with the big inscription tablets; 4. the fifth scene on the round tower on the left; 5. the 2nd, 15th, 22nd, and 23rd of the historical scenes; 6. three half-length figures in the genealogical tree above the middle gateway; 7. the busts of six emperors.