Dürer painted himself half-length and slightly turned, beside a window that opens onto a mountainous landscape. He wears a white Jerkin with black edging and a shirt with gold lace, long hair, a black and white striped cap with tassels, a brown cape and grey kid gloves. The choice of elegant, aristocratic clothing and the severe gaze he directs at the viewer with haughty serenity indicate Dürer’s wish to show off his social standing.
This work is outstanding for its rich details, the meticulous treatment of qualities, and its brilliant, gold-toned color scheme, all of which complement an impeccably precise drawing.
His satisfaction with his own artistic capacity is manifest in the German inscription on the window ledge, which reads: "1498, I painted it according to my figure. I was twenty-six years old Albrecht Dürer".
It was a gift from Nuremberg city council to King Charles I of England, and was acquired in 1654 at the sale of his possessions by Don Luis de Haro, who presented it to Felipe IV.