Self-Portrait of the Artist with his Wife, Ida
Israhel van Meckenem, German, 1440/45 - 1503
Israhel's image of himself and his wife Ida is the first known engraved portrait of an artist and one of the first portrait engravings in the history of art. Ida is garbed in a fur-trimmed robe befitting the wife of a newly elected member of the town council, while he wears a merchant's cap. The most prolific engraver of his time displays his talent in the richly brocaded background. His pride in his accomplishments is proclaimed in the Latin inscription of his name in addition to his more usual monogram.