Circle of Hans Maler Zu Schwaz (Schwaz circa 1485-circa 1529) Portrait of a gentleman, half-length, in black costume with fur-trimmed robes
inscribed and dated 'ANNO' (upper left) and 'MDXXVIII' (upper right). oil on canvas, probably transferred from panel. 77 x 61.5cm (30 5/16 x 24 3/16in). Estimate: £3,000 - 5,000, €3,200 - 5,300
Bonhams. Old Master Paintings, 21 Apr 2009. Knightsbridge www.bonhams.com (Copyright © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd., Images and Text All Rights Reserved)
Hans Maler zu Schwaz (1480 – 1526/1529) was a German painter born in Ulm and active as portraitist in the village of Schwaz, near Innsbruck. Maler may have trained with the German artist Bartholomäus Zeitblom, who was chief master of the School of Ulm between 1484 and 1517. He painted numerous portraits of members of the Habsburg (or Habsburg) court at Innsbruck as well as of wealthy merchants such as the Fuggers.
Maler's two most important patrons were Ferdinand I of Austria, who at the time was Archduke (Later Emperor) and the celebrated Fuggers. Ferdinand is known to have commissioned at least three portraits of himself and four of his wife, Anna of Bohemia and Hungary. Maler also painted portraits in 1517 of Sebastian Andorfer, a successful metal maker and merchant from Schwaz. His portrait style rarely varied from his bust-format, where the subject's hands were not shown and without eye contact to the viewer.
He received commissions early on in his career from Ferdinand's grandfather, Maximilian I and was also commissioned in 1508 for frescoes depicting the Habsburg family tree in Ambras Castle.