Logo of Basel Historical Museum
Dunkle AnsichtHelle Ansicht

A gentleman with the arms of the Zurlauben family

Key data

Switzerland, ca. 1625/30


height 23.5 cm, width 15 cm

Inv. 1870.1192.


In the early C16 relief portraits of persons of rank had already incorporated motifs of memento mori and this portrait's resemblance to a funerary monument is part of that tradition. In front of Gothic tracery on a red background, two angels hold a rich hanging with openwork borders. In front of this the three quarters length figure of a nobleman armed with a sword almost steps out of the frame. He is dressed in the fashion of ca. 1625, has scars on his forehead, and his right hand is decorated with rings on his thumb and little finger. The coat of arms to the left of his head belongs to the Zurlauben family, residents of Zug who made careers for themselves in foreign service. He is perhaps Konrad Zurlauben III (1571-1629). The relief, including the frame, was carved from a single piece of wood: the unknown artist's display of technical skill was a response to an appreciation, typical of 'Kunstkammer' collectors, for the virtuoso and intricate as an end in itself.

Selection of similar objects


Basel Historical Museum
Management & administration
Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

Sign up for our newsletter
Logo: FacebookLogo: InstagramLogo: TwitterLogo: YouTube
Logo: Culture inclusive
Open today from 10 AM to 5 PM
Closed today
Closed today
Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM