Melchior Lorch (Danish, ca. 15271583)
Pen and brown ink; 5 1/16 x 1 1/4 in. (12.9 x 3.2 cm)
Monogrammed and dated, upper right: ML 1570; inscribed: Altte Marke
Harry G. Sperling Fund, 1995 (1995.299)
Parallel to the interest in the trades and professions evinced in Jost Amman's Ständebuch of 1568 were the investigations into costume during the sixteenth century undertaken by artists such as Enea Vico, Cesare Vecellio, Hans Holbein the Younger, and Melchior Lorch. A Danish draftsman, engraver, painter, architect, and author, Lorch had a highly productive career that ranged from Denmark to Turkey. This drawing is one of a group of fifteen costume studies, each characterized by a geometrical conception of form and a stark background against which the costume is displayed. They were probably intended as models for woodcuts. The annotation Altte Marke indicates the locale from which the costume originated: a district around 75 miles east of Berlin.