Albrecht Dürer - Christ before PilatusAlbrecht Dürer - Christ before Pilatus
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Albrecht Dürer - Christ before Pilatus

Item Code: xxd35.1

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Albrecht Dürer - Small Passion - Pilatus
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Albrecht Dürer - Pilatus washing his hands - 1510

Reference: From the small woodcut passion - H.145
Edition without text on the backside after 1511

Woodcut . Full plate border and tread margins. Still good impression from the used block with some worm holes and broken borderline visible.

Read more about the Small Woocut Passion

According to Walter Strauss , Durer began the Small Woodcut Passion sometime in 1508 or 1509, completed it in 1510, and published it in 1511 with Latin verses by Benedictus Chelidonius facing each plate. There are thirty-seven woodcuts in the series, beginning The Fall of Man and concluding with The Last Judgment. While only a few of the plates are dated, those that are suggest that Durer originally began with Christ's Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and concluded with The Last Judgment. As he was completing the series c. 1510, however, he added The Fall of Man, The Expulsion from Eden (dated 1510), The Annunciation, The Nativity, and Saints Peter, Paul, and Veronica holding the Suderium (dated 1510). These additions change the focus from a history of The Passion to a history of mankind with Adam and Eve as the source of man's woes and Jesus as man's salvation. Of all of Durer's great works in series, the Small Woodcut Passion is by far the largest. It was also one of his most popular: it was reprinted several times up to an Italian edition of 1612. Although there exist later impressions printed from Durer's original blocks, they are gray and blotchy and do not print well.
There is a consensus that the original engravings drawn by Albrecht Durer himself on the wood were engraved under his own superintendence. The consensus is that Durer cut the blocks himself for his early works including The Ship of Fools until he could train professional woodcutters to reach the level he had achieved, worlds beyond anything anyone had done up to that time in terms of subtlety, fineness of line, density, etc.
Walter Strauss distinguishes two lifetime editions of the complete work, as opposed to individual printings of individual works that Durer sold or gave away when he traveled. The third edition of the genuine woodcuts was published at Venice, in 1612 (wit Italian text)
Here we have a somewhat later edition from the used block.  Almost all woodcuts on the market are from the more common Italian edition or editions without text such as this one..




Additional Information

SKU xxd35.1
Picture Size 12,70 cm x 10 cm
Specification Print
technic Woodcut
Artist Albrecht Durer
period before 1500
School German
subject Religious
rating ****

Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) 
Albrecht Dürer

Son of a goldsmith who settled in Nuremberg in 1455, and in 1467 married his master's daughter.  The young Albrecht was first apprenticed to his father, and was then bound for three years to the painter Michael Wolgemut, whose large workshop also produced woodcut book-illustrations for the printer Anton Koberger, Durer's godfather.  He traveled for four years, from Easter 1490, visiting Colmar, Basle, and Strasbourg, and in May 1494 he returned to Nuremberg and married.  In the autumn of 1494 he went to Venice.  During this visit he met Giovanni Bellini, whom he greatly admired, and painted several works for the German merchants of Venice, which shows some knowledge of Leonardo.  On his return he intensified the learned side of his art and personality; he studied mathematics, geometry, Latin, and humanist literature, and sought the company of scholars rather than that of his fellow artistisans.  This departure in mode of life and thought was directly traceable to the influence of Leonardo and Mantegna and the example of Bellini, and though it was common enough in Italy, it was unprecedented in Germany.  In 1512, he became Court Painter to the Emporer Maximillian, and in July 1520 he journeyed to the Netherlands to obtain from his successor, Charles V, the ratification of his post and pension.  He saw the coronation of the new Emperor at Aachen and was confirmed in his office, visited Antwerp, Brussels, Malines, Cologne, Middleburg, Brugues, and Ghent, and was honored and feted all along the route.  He returned home in July 1521, and despite ill health resulting from fever, probably contracted in the swamps of Zealand, where he had ventured in the hope of seeing a dead whale, he worked unremittingly until his death.

Durer's enormous oeuvre consists of woodcuts and engravings, paintings, and preparatory and independent drawings, and he also wrote treatises on measurement, fortification, proportion, and artistic theory, besides his detailed diary of his Netherlands journey.  He was the main channel through which Italian Renaissance forms and ideas were introduced into the North, and he combined these with the individualism general in German art and inherited from the Gothic tradition.  His greatest influence was through his graphic work.  He is one of the supreme masters of woodcut and copper engravings, and these easily transportable models carried his technique, subjects, designs, and style all over Europe, and even had a considerable influence in Italy.  He extended the range of woodcut and engraving by perfecting the technique of both, and raised the standard of graphic art by the training he gave to the workmen who executed his designs.

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