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The Presentation of Christ in the Temple

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (engraved)

  • Date:

    1505-1506 (engraved)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Raimondi, Marcantonio (engravers (printmakers))
    Dürer, Albrecht, born 1471 - died 1528 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraving on paper

  • Museum number:

    26127:11

  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 64, The Wolfson Gallery, case 21

The is an engraving which copies a woodcut. Both engravings and woodcuts are types of prints but they are created in different ways. This is also an example of an Italian artist copying the work of a German one. Not only has the Italian artist copied the German artist’s composition, he has even copied the German artist’s initials, AD, which can be seen on a small placard hanging from a hook low down on the column on the left. AD stands for Albrecht Dürer and Dürer is reported to have been infuriated by what he saw as theft of his ideas and his identity.

Set in the temple in Jerusalem, this print shows Mary and Joseph who have brought the infant Jesus there to be consecrated to the Lord. At the same time a pair of birds in the cage held by the kneeling attendant, are being offered to the high priest as part of a Jewish rite “purifying” the mother after the birth of a child.

Physical description

Engraving of the Presentation in the Temple by Marcantonio Raimondi copying a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer.

Place of Origin

Italy (engraved)

Date

1505-1506 (engraved)

Artist/maker

Raimondi, Marcantonio (engravers (printmakers))
Dürer, Albrecht, born 1471 - died 1528 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Engraving on paper

Marks and inscriptions

AD in monogram
This monogram on a tablet hanging from a column in the foreground is that of Albrecht Dürer. This engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi copies a woodcut by that artist. Raimondi even copied Dürer's monogram much to the latter's reported anger.

II
Numbered thus, at the bottom of the sheet in the centre, signifying the 11th scene in the total of twenty which make up Dürer's 'The Life of the Virgin'.

Dimensions

Height: 29.2 cm cut to, Width: 20.9 cm cut to

Historical context note

See E. 698-1940 for the woodcut which this engraving copies.

According to Vasari writing in 1568, Dürer travelled to Venice with the express purpose of taking legal action against Marcantonio Raimondi for selling forgeries of his work, but he was only able to obtain agreement that he could not use his monogram. Raimondi did not use Dürer's monogram on his later copies of Dürer's prints.

Descriptive line

The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi after a woodcut by Dürer

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bartsch, Adam von. Le peintre graveur. Vienna, 1803-1821. no 406.

Labels and date

THE PRESENTATION OF CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE

The image originated in a woodcut by the German artist Albrecht Dürer. His prints reached a wide audience and elements of their designs were incorporated into different media, especially in Italy. However, Dürer did not appreciate Marcantonio Raimondi copying his monogram and complained to the Venetian authorities.

When the unknown painter from Faenza modified Dürer's design for his dish [C.159-1937], he used figures from another of Dürer's prints to fill in the spaces at the sides.

Engraving on paper based on the woodcut 1505-6

Marcantonio Raimondi
(about 1480-1534)

Italy

Museum no. 26127:11 []

Materials

Paper; Printing ink

Techniques

Engraving

Subjects depicted

Candles; Doves; Architecture; Columns

Categories

Prints; Christianity; Religion

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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