Signed with the artist's monogram and dated in wreath at lower center, "1521".
Watermark: Shield, fragment.
Collection J. Pierpont Morgan : Drawings by the Old Masters Formed by C. Fairfax Murray. London : Privately printed, 1905-1912, I, 257, repr.
Denison, Cara D., and Helen B. Mules, with the assistance of Jane V. Shoaf. European Drawings, 1375-1825. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1981, no. 35, repr.
In 1521, upon his return from the Netherlands, Dürer was commissioned to design a program for the decoration of the town hall in his native Nuremberg. The mural paintings were carried out by other artists, perhaps including Georg Pencz, but by the 1630s the decoration was repainted, and any remaining traces were lost when the town hall was destroyed in 1944. The roundels above the windows show David and Bathsheba, Samson and Delilah, and Aristotle and Phyllis, all scenes of powerful women. It is an unexpected scheme for a town hall, but was likely meant to convey a salutary warning for the town's leaders that even the most powerful and insightful of men might be laid low if they fail to maintain a sense of propriety.
Lely, Peter, Sir, 1618-1680, former owner.
Crozat, M. (Pierre), 1661-1740, former owner.
Robinson, John Charles, Sir, 1824-1913, former owner.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.