Hans Maler (Ulm c. 1480-c. 1526/9 Schwaz?, Tyrol)
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Hans Maler (Ulm c. 1480-c. 1526/9 Schwaz?, Tyrol)

Portrait of Queen Anne of Hungary (1503-1547), half-length, seated, in a blue dress

Hans Maler (Ulm c. 1480-c. 1526/9 Schwaz?, Tyrol)
Portrait of Queen Anne of Hungary (1503-1547), half-length, seated, in a blue dress
inscribed 'ANNA REGINA/.1520. .Anno Etatis.16.' (upper centre)
oil on panel
20¼ x 14 7/8 in. (51.5 x 37.8 cm.)
S.R. Guggenheim, New York, by 1931, when photographed in Art News, XXIX, 33, 16 May, by whom bequeathed to
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York; Sotheby's, London, 27 June 1962, lot 21 (to Carlson).
Dr. Hans Wetzlar; Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 9 June 1977, lot 29 (to Dreesmann).
Dr Anton C.R. Dreesmann (inventory no. A-21).
C.L. Kuhn, German Paintings in American Collections, 1936, no. 265, pl. 53.
H. von Mackowitz, 'Ein Verlobungsbild der Königin Anna von Ungarn', Tiroler Heimatblätter, 7 September 1955, p. 77.
Idem, Der Maler Hans von Schwartz, 1960, no. 15, pl. 21.
J. de Jong, Konigin Maria van Hongarije, 1966, pl. 6.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Germanic Museum of Harvard University, German Paintings of the 15th and 16th Centuries, June-September 1936, no. 18.
Indianapolis, John Herron Art Institute, Holbein and his Contemporaries, 1950, no. 64.
Laren, Noord-Holland, Singer Museum, De Kunst van het Verzamelen, 1966, no. 34.
Utrecht, Museum Het Catharijneconvent, Maria van Hongarije. Koningin tussen keizers en kunstenaars, 1993, no. 32
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Lot Essay

The artist, whose stylistic roots lie on the portraiture of Bernhard Strigel, but who may have been trained in Ulm by Bartholomeus Zeitblom, is first documented in Schwaz in 1517. His name and origin are known from the inscription on a Portrait of Anton Fugger of 1524 (formerly Czech Republic, Decin Castle): 'hans maler von ulm, maler zvo schwaz'. Although known to have painted altarpieces and history works, Maler is mostly regarded for his portraiture, of which the present lot is a characteristic example, set against a blue background, darker at the top, the sitter looking obliquely out of the picture. Along with a few others of his representations of particularly high-ranking sitters, however, Maler has deviated from his normal bust-length compositions to portray the sitter with her hands visible.

Maler appears, like Strigel, to have enjoyed the patronage of the Court, which was partly based at Innsbruck, close to Schwaz. Friedländer suggested covincingly that he might be the Schwaz-based artist who in 1500 was reminded by the Court to deliver the portrait that Maximilian I had commissioned of his late wife, Mary of Burgundy, as well as the 'Hans in Schwaz' who in 1510 was paid for two further portraits of her (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum; New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art). Certainly, his two most important patrons were the Archduke (subsequently Emperor) Ferdinand of Austria - the husband of the present sitter - and the celebrated Fugger banking dynasty. Ferdinand, for example, is known to have commissioned amongst other works from Maler three further portraits of his wife: in 1520 (Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza), 1521 (Innsbruck, Tiroler Landesmuseum) and 1525 (Berlin, Gemäldegalerie), besides three of himself (1521; Dessau, Staatliche Galerie; and 1525; Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum; and Florence, Uffizi) and two of his sister, Mary, Queen of Hungary (both 1520; London, Society of Antiquaries; Schweinfurt, Schafer collection).

The sitter is of particular importance in European history as the link through whom Hungary and Bohemia passed into the Habsburg Imperial dominions. Born Anne Jagiellon, the daughter of King Ladislas II of Hungary and Bohemia, she married Archduke Ferdinand (1503-1564), the brother of the Emperor Charles V, in May 1521. Her husband was invested with Upper and Lower Austria, Styria, Carinthia and Carniola, and by 1522 had been made Regent of all hereditary Habsburg lands. When Anne's brother, King Louis II, was killed in 1526 at the battle of Mohács, Ferdinand acceded through her to the Kingdom of Hungary and Bohemia, in 1531 also becoming King of the Romans. In 1558, following Charles V's abdication and the subsequent division of the Hispano-Flemish and Central European Habsburg dominions, Ferdinand became Holy Roman Emperor, being succeeded on his death in the Imperial, Austrian, Hungarian and Bohemian titles by his and Anne's eldest son, Maximilian II. This and the Thyssen picture are the earliest known representations of Anne, and were presumably commissioned to mark her engagement to Ferdinand.

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