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German History in Documents and Images
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Jakob Fugger the Rich (c. 1518)
Jakob Fugger (1459-1525) was the richest burgher in the Empire and perhaps the richest merchant-banker in all of Europe. Descended from a family of Augsburg merchants, he managed a firm that traded in money and commodities throughout Europe and beyond. As a financial supporter of the House of Habsburg, he exerted a major influence on European politics. In 1519, he advanced the funds that allowed Emperor Maximilian I to pave the way of his grandson, the future Charles V, to the throne. This portrait of Fugger by Albrecht Dürer was painted during the Imperial Diet [Reichstag] in Nuremberg. It shows Fugger as a man of almost sixty. Oil painting by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), c. 1518.