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The Promenade

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Nuremberg (engraved)

  • Date:

    ca. 1498 (engraving (printing process))

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dürer, Albrecht, born 1471 - died 1528 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraving print on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Miss Alice G. E. Carthew

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case EL, shelf 82, box C

Physical description

Engraving print on paper; inscribed with the artist's monogram. A young couple walk in the countryside, while unseen by them, death in the form of a skeleton lurks behind a twisted and leafless tree. The pair are a study in youth and beauty: the man stalwart and handsome, wearing a sword and dashing feathered cap; the woman demure, finely dressed and ornamented with an intricately-designed bodice, slashed sleeves and a tall patterned bonnet. The man looks towards his paramour as he gestures towards their path with one hand. To his left is a tall plant with a grassy seed head which may refer to the transience of nature and by analogy to human existence. Behind them, death scowls in their direction, holding aloft another vanitas symbol in the form of an hourglass.

Place of Origin

Nuremberg (engraved)


ca. 1498 (engraving (printing process))


Dürer, Albrecht, born 1471 - died 1528 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Engraving print on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed with artist's monogram bottom middle


Height: 19.6 cm, Width: 11.7 cm

Descriptive line

Engraving by Albrecht Dürer, 'Young Couple Threatened by Death' or 'The Promenade'; Nuremberg, ca. 1498.

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

Strauss, Walter L., ed. The Illustrated Bartsch 10 (Commentary): Sixteenth Century German Artists, Albrecht Dürer. New York: Abaris Books, 1980. 328 p., ill. ISBN 089835000X. No. 94, pp.209-211.
Heller, Joseph. Das Leben und die Werke Albrecht Dürer. Bamberg: 1827. Vols. 2 & 3 (vol. 1 was not published). No.884.
Meder, Joseph. Dürer-Katalog: Ein Handbuch über Albrecht Dürers Stiche, Radierungen, Holzschnitte, deren Zustände, Ausgaben und Wasserzeichen. Vienna, 1932. No.83.
Dodgson, Campbell. Albrecht Dürer, Numerical Catalogue of the Engravings, Etchings, Dry-Points with Technical Details, London 1926. No.9.
Tietze, Hans and Erika Tietze-Conrat. Kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke Albrecht Dürers. Vol. 1, Augsburg 1928; vol.2, Basel and Leipzig 1937; vol.3, Basel and Leipzig, 1938. No.142.
Panofsky, Erwin. Albrecht Dürer. Princeton 1943. (Addenda in the editions of 1945 and 1948). No.201.
Strauss, W.L. The Intaglio Prints of Albrecht Dürer . New York, 1977. No.20.


Printing ink; Paper



Subjects depicted

Mortality; Lovers; Hats; Skeletons; Hourglasses; Memento mori; Women's dress; Men's dress




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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