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The Exemplary Painting Of Hans Burgkmair The Elder: History At The Munich Court Of Wilhelm IV

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Chapter Summary

Hans Burgkmair's painting was part of a larger cycle commissioned by the Wittelsbach Duke Wilhelm IV and his wife Jacobaa at the Munich court. The cycle consisted of eight vertical-format panels and eight horizontal panels showing the deeds of virtuous heroines taken from Greek and Roman history, the Old Testament and legends of the saints. This paper discusses how the painting cycle fit conceptually within the conventions of humanist historiography, which viewed history as a treasure house of exempla relevant to contemporary court life that could serve as guides to moral conduct and practical action. The first three paintings in the Munich cycle consisted of battle scenes showing male heroics, by Burgkmair, Altdorfer and Breu. The author argues that Burgkmair's contribution in the Battle at Cannae framed the traditional exempla in unexpected ways, offering up a world that was ripe with conflict, chaos, and inescapably violent drives.

Keywords: Battle at Cannae; Hans Burgkmair's painting; Munich court; Wittelsbach Duke Wilhelm IV

10.1163/ej.9789004162761.i-294.44
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004162761.i-294.44
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