Dürer’s Feast of the Rose Garland and the Scuola dei Tedeschi as Strategies for Mediating Foreign, Masculine Identity
The German merchant community in Venice faced pressure to please three different masters—the city, the pope, and the Emperor. Failure to maintain good relations could disrupt business and damage profits. This was especially true for a group of merchants required to live together despite particular regional differences and tensions. Members of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi were classified as others whose public and business behaviors were under the scrutiny of the Venetian government, citizens, and other merchants. For the Fondaco to function properly, it was necessary to rebuild and reassert an inherently masculine brotherhood based on good faith and equity. In this context, Albrecht Dürer’s Feast of the Rose Garlands and the Scuola dei Tedeschi both support the (re)creation of a communal, masculine identity.