This drawing portrays a laughing peasant woman from Windisch Mark, the archaic name of the area around Gurk in southern Austria.

Widely regarded as among the artist's greatest portrait drawings, it was evidently already much admired in the sixteenth century. It isn't hard to see why. Given the fleeting nature of the peasant woman's expression and the meticulous execution of the drawing, Dürer must have had to recall her mirthful grin from memory. This drawing was donated by Campbell Dodgson, who presented 10 works on paper to the British Museum through the Art Fund between 1907 and 1928 and bequeathed a large collection of etchings by William Strang in 1952.

Provenance

Marquis de Lagoy; Woodburn; Henry Danby Seymour 1820-77; A Seymour; Mrs Seymour and Miss JM Seymour who sold it at Sothebys on 26th April, 1927 to a Dutch owner. 1928 Mr H E Ten Cate.


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