Albrecht Dürer: Diary of a Journey to the Netherlands (July, 1520- July, 1521)
On Thursday after St. Kilian's Day, I, Albrecht Dürer, at my own charges and costs, took myself and my wife from Nuremberg away to the Netherlands, and the same day, after we had passed through Eriangen, we put up for the night at Baiersdorff, and spent there 3 crowns, less 6 pfennigs. From thence on the next day, Friday, we came to Forchheim, and there paid for the conveying thence on the journey to Bamberg 22 pf., and presented to the Bishop a painted Virgin and a "Life of the Virgin," an "Apocalypse," and a florin's worth of engravings. He invited me to be his guest, gave me a toll-pass and three letters of introduction, and settled my bill at the inn, where I had spent about a florin. I paid 6 florins in gold to the boatmen who took me from Bamberg to Frankfurt. Master Lucas Benedict and Hans the painter sent me a present of wine. Spent 4 pf. for bread and 13 pf. as tips.
Then I journeyed from Bamberg to Eltman and showed my pass, and they let me go free. And from there we passed by Zeil; in the meantime I spent 21 pf. Next I came to Hassfurt, and showed my pass, and they let me go without paying duty; I paid 1 florin to the Bishop of Bamberg's chancery. Next I came to Theres to the monastery, and I showed my pass, and they also let me go free; then we journeyed to Lower Euerheim. There I stayed the night and spent I pf. Thence we went to Meinberg, and I showed my papers and was allowed to pass. Then we came to Schweinfurt, where Dr. George Rebart invited me, and he gave us wine in the boat: they let me also pass free. 10 pf. for a roast fowl, 18 pf. in the kitchen and to the boy. Then we traveled to Volkach and I showed my pass, and we went on and came to Schwarzach, and there we stopped the night and spent 22 pf., and on Monday we were up early and went toward Tettelbach and came to Kitzingen, and I showed my letter, and they let me go on, and I spent 37 pf. After that we went past Sulzfeld to Marktbreit, and I showed my letter and they let me through, and we traveled by Frickenhausen to Ochsenfurth, where I showed my pass and they let me go free: and we came to Eibelstadt, and from that to Haidingsfeldt, and thence to Wurzburg; there I showed my pass and they let me go free. Thence we journeyed to Erlabrunn and stopped the night there, and I spent 22 pf. From that we journeyed on past Retzbath and Zellingen and came to Karlstadt; here I showed my pass and they let me go on. Thence I traveled to Gmunden, and there we breakfasted and spent 22 pf. I also showed my pass, and they let me go free. We traveled thence to Hofstetten; I showed my pass, and they let me through. We came next to Lohr, where I showed my pass and passed on; from there we came to Neustadt and showed our letter, and they let us travel on; also I paid 10 pf. for wine and crabs. From there we came to Rothenfels, and I showed my pass, and they let me go free, and we stayed there for a night, and spent 20 pf.; and on Wednesday early we started and passed by St. Eucharius and came to Heidenfeld, and thence to Triefenstein; from there we came to Homburg, where I showed my pass and they let me through; from there we came to Wertheim, and I showed my letter, and they let me go free, and I spent 57 pf. From there we went to Prozelten; here I showed my pass, and they let me through. Next we went on past Freudenberg, where I showed my letter once more, and they let me through; from there we came to Miltenberg and stayed there over night, and I also showed my pass and they let me go, and I spent 61 pf.; from there we came to Klingenberg. I showed my pass and they let me through; and we came to Worth and from there passed Obernburg to Aschaffenburg; here I presented my pass and they let me through, and I spent 52 pf.; from there we journeyed on to Selgenstadt; from there to Steinheim, where I showed my letter and they let me go on, and we stayed with Johannes for the night, who showed us the town and was very friendly to us; there I spent 16 pf., and so early on Friday morning we traveled to Kesselstadt, where I showed my pass and they let me go on; from there we came to Frankfurt, and I showed my pass again, and they let me through, and I spent 6 white pf. and one thaler and a half, and I gave the boy 2 white pf. Herr Jacob Heller gave me some wine at the inn. I bargained to be taken with my goods from Frankfurt to Mainz for 1 florin and 2 white pf., and I also gave the lad 5 Frankfurt thaler, and for the night we spent 8 white pf. On Sunday I traveled by the early boat from Frankfurt to Mainz, and midway there we came to Hochst, where I showed my pass and they let me go on; I spent 8 Frankfurt pf. there. From there we journeyed to Mainz; I have also paid I white pf. for landing my things, besides 14 Frankfurt thaler to the boatmen and 18 pf. for a girdle; and I took passage in the Cologne boat for myself and my things for 3 florins, and at Mainz also I spent 17 white pf. Peter Goldschmidt, the warden there, gave me two bottles of wine. Veit Varnbuler invited me, but his host would take no payment from him, insisting on being my host himself; they showed me much honour.
So I started from Mainz, where the Main flows into the Rhine, and it was the Monday after Mary Magdalen's Day, and I paid 10 thaler for meat and bread, and for eggs and pears 9 thaler. Here, too, Leonhard Goldschmidt gave me wine and fowls in the boat to cook on the way to Cologne. Master Jobst's brother likewise gave me a bottle of wine, and the painters gave me two bottles of wine in the boat. From there we came to Elfeld, where I showed my letter and they took no toll; from there we came to Rudesheim and I gave 2 white pf. for loading the boat; then we came to Ehrenfels, and there I showed my letter, but I had to give two gold florins; if, however, I were to bring them a free pass within two months, the customs officer would give me back the 2 gold florins. From there we came to Bacharach, and there I had to promise in writing that I would either bring them a free pass in two months, or pay the toll; from there we came to Caub, and there again I showed my pass, but it would carry me no further, and I had to promise in writing as before; there I spent 11 thaler. Next we came to St. Goar, and here I showed my pass, and the customs officer asked me how they had treated me elsewhere, so I said I would pay him nothing; I gave 2 white pf. to the messenger. From there we came to Boppard, and I showed my pass to the Trier customhouse officer, and they let me go through, only I had to certify in writing under my seal that I carried no common merchandise, and then the man let me go willingly.
From there we came to Lahnstein, and I showed my pass, and the customs officer let me go through, but he asked me that I should speak for him to my most gracious Lord of Mainz, and he gave me a can of wine, too, for he knew my wife well and he was glad to see me. From there we came to Engers, which is in the Trier territory; I presented my pass and they let me go through; I said, too, that I would mention it to my Lord of Bamberg. From there we came to Andernach, and I showed my pass, and they let me go through; and I spent there 7 thaler and 4 thaler more; then on St. James's Day early I traveled from Andernach to Linz; from there we went to the custom house at Bonn, and there again they let me go through; from there we came to Cologne, and in the boat I spent 9 white pf. and I more, and 4 pf. for fruit. At Cologne I spent 7 white pf. for unloading, to the boatmen 14 thaler, and to Nicolas, my cousin, I made a present of my black fur-lined coat edged with velvet, and to his wife I gave a florin; also at Cologne Fugger gave me wine: Johann Grosserpecker also gave me wine, and my cousin Nicolas gave me wine. They gave us also a collation at the Barefoot Convent, and one of the monks gave me a handkerchief; moreover, Herr Johann Grosserpecker has given me 12 measures of the best wine, and I paid 2 white pf. and 8 thaler to the boy; I have spent besides at Cologne 2 florins and 14 white pf. and 10 white pf. for packing, and 3 pf. for fruit; further, I gave I pf. at leaving, and I white pf. to the messenger.
From there we journeyed on St. Pantaleon's Day from Cologne to a village called Busdorf. We lay there over night, and spent 3 white pf.; and early on Sunday, we traveled to Rodingen, where we had breakfast and spent 2 white pf. and 3 pf. more, and again 3 pf. Thence we came to Frei-Aldenhoven, where we lay the night, and spent 3 white pf.; thence we traveled early on Monday to Frelenberg, and passed the little town of Gangelt, breakfasting at a village called Stisterseel, and spent 2 white pf. 2 thaler, further 1 white pf., and again 2 white pf. From there we journeyed to Sittard, a pretty little town, and from there to Stocken, which belongs to Liege; where we had a fine inn and stayed there over night, and spent 4 white pf. And when we had crossed over the Maas we started off early on Tuesday morning and came to Merten Lewbehen [sic]: there we had breakfast and spent 2 stivers and gave a white pf. for a young fowl. From there we traveled across the heath and came to Stosser, where we spent 2 stivers, and lay there the night: from thence on Wednesday morning early we traveled to West Meerbeck, where I paid 3 stivers for bread and wine; and we went on as far as Branthoek, where we had breakfast and spent 1 stiver; from there we traveled to Uylenberg, where we stayed the night and spent 3 stivers; from there we traveled on Thursday early to op ten Kouys, where we breakfasted and spent 2 stivers; thence we came to Antwerp.
There I sent to Jobst Planckfelt's inn, and the same evening the Fugger's factor, by name Bernhard Stecher, invited me and gave us a costly meal—my wife dined at the inn. I paid the driver for bringing us three, 3 florins in gold, and 2 stivers for carrying the goods.
On Saturday after the Feast of St. Peter in Chains, my host took me to see the burgomaster's house at Antwerp, which is newly built and large beyond measure, very well arranged with extraordinarily beautiful large rooms; a tower, splendidly ornamented; a very large garden; in short, such a noble house as I have never seen in all German lands. A very long new street has been built in his honour, and with his assistance, leading up to the house on both sides. I gave 3 stivers to the messenger, and 2 pf. for bread and 2 pf. for ink; and on Sunday, which was St. Oswald's Day, the Painters invited me to their hall with my wife and maid, where everything was of silver, and they had other costly ornaments and very costly meats; and all their wives were there too; and as I was being led to the table, everyone on both sides stood up as if they were leading some great lord. There were among them men of high position, who all showed me the greatest respect and bowed low to me, and said they would do everything in their power to serve and please me. And as I sat there in honour, there came the messenger of the Town Council of Antwerp with two servants and presented to me four cans of wine from the Magistrates of Antwerp, who told him to say that they wished thereby to show their respect for me and to assure me of their good-will; wherefore I returned them my humble thanks and offered my humble services. Thereupon came Master Peter, the town carpenter, and gave me two cans of wine with offer of his willing service; so when we had spent a long time together merrily, till late into the night, they accompanied us home with lanterns in great honour. They begged me to be assured of their good-will, and promised that in whatever I did they would help me in every way; so I thanked them, and laid down to sleep.
Also I have been in Master Quentin's house, and I have been in all the three great shooting places. [Editor's note: Quentin Matsys, the painter]. I had a very splendid dinner at Staiber's. Another time at the Portuguese factor's, whose portrait I have drawn in charcoal; I have made a portrait of my host as well; Jobst Plankfelt gave me a branch of white coral; paid 2 stivers for butter and 2 stivers to the joiner at the Painters' armoury.
Also my host took me to the Painters' workshop in the armoury at Antwerp, where they are making the triumphal arches through which King Charles is to make his entry. It is 400 bows in length and each arch is 40 feet wide: they are to be set up on both sides of the streets, beautifully arranged and two stories high, and on them they are to act the plays; and this costs to make, 4,000 florins for the joiners and painters, and the whole work is very magnificently done.
I have dined again with the Portuguese factor, and once with Alexander Imhof. Sebald Fischer bought of me at Antwerp sixteen "Small Passions" for 4 florins, thirty-two of the large books for 8 florins, also six engraved "Passions" for 3 florins, also twenty half-sheets of all kinds taken together at 1 florin to the value of 3 florins, and again 5 1/4 florins' worth of quarter-sheets,—forty-five of all kinds at 1 florin, and eight miscellaneous leaves at 1 florin; it is paid.
To my host I have sold a "Madonna" picture, painted on small canvas, for 2 florins Rhenish. I took once more the portrait of Felix the lute player. 1 stiver for pears and bread; 2 stivers to the surgeon-barber: besides I have given 14 stivers for three small panels, besides 4 stivers for laying in the white and preparing them. I have dined once with Alexander the goldsmith, and once with Felix Hungersberg; once Master Joachim has eaten with me, and his partner also once.
I have made a drawing in half colours for the Painters. I have taken 1 florin for expenses. I made Peter Wolffgang a present of four new little pieces. Master Joachim's partner has again dined with me. I gave Master Joachim 1 florin's worth of prints for lending me his apprentice and colours, and I gave his apprentice 3 crowns' worth of prints. I have sent the four new pieces to Alexander, the goldsmith. I made charcoal portraits of these Genoese by name: Tomasin Florianus Romanus, native of Lucca, and his two brothers, named Vincentius and Gerhard, all three Bombelli. ...