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Fall and Redemption of Man

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Regensburg (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1515 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Altdorfer, Albrecht (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woodcut on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by C.H. Shannon, R.A.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case TOPIC, shelf 6C

These images belong to a set of 40 prints representing the Fall and Redemption of Man. Each woodcut image is only about 7.5cm high but the compositions are monumental with figure groups in expansive interiors and landscape settings. Altdorfer drew the compositions four to a woodblock to help ensure evenness of printing across the set. The compositions were copied in altarpieces and miniature paintings by other artists. They were never copied as woodcuts, a testament to the technical accomplishment required to make small woodcuts of such as high pictorial standard.

Sets of small woodcuts were sometimes pasted into books as illustrations. However, these woodcuts are thought likely to have been made with a collector’s market in mind. This is underlined by their relatively high survival rate.

Physical description

Plate from a set of forty depicting in a sequence the Fall and Redemption of Man. This scene depicts the Virgin Mary crowned by two angels and holding the child Jesus in her arms.

Place of Origin

Regensburg (made)


ca. 1515 (made)


Altdorfer, Albrecht (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Woodcut on paper

Marks and inscriptions



Height: 7.3 cm average, trimmed, Width: 4.8 cm average, trimmed

Descriptive line

Woodcut, from a set of forty depicting The Fall and Redemption of Man. From a set of 40 plates, by Albrecht Altdorfer; Regensburg, Germany, ca. 1515.

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

Bartsch, Adam von, 1757-1821. The illustrated Bartsch. New York : Abaris Books, 1978-, no. 1-40
Hollstein, F. W. H. German engravings, etchings, and woodcuts, ca. 1400-1700. Amsterdam : M. Hertzberger, 1954-
Landau, David and Peter Parshall. The Renaissance Print: 1470-1550. Yale University Press, 1994.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design & Department of Paintings, Accessions 1938. London: The Board of Education, 1939.


Ink; Paper




Prints; Religion; Christianity; Woodcuts


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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