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The Man of Sorrows by the Column with the Virgin and Saint John

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    Nuremberg (engraved)

  • Date:

    1509 (engraved)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraving on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:

    E.4634-1910

  • Gallery location:

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

The Engraved Passion (1507-1512) was one of four major series of religious prints made by Dürer, and helped to establish his reputation as an outstanding Renaissance printmaker. The others were the woodcut series of the Life of the Virgin, the Great Passion, and the Little Passion, all published in 1511. The Engraved Passion consists of fifteen small format plates and tells the story of Christ's betrayal by Judas, his crucifixion and resurrection. Dürer is renowned for inventing new and imaginative ways to depict Christian stories, and in the Engraved Passion the compositions of each plate are dramatic, intricate and complex, with emotive contrasts of light and shadow. Unlike the more populist woodcuts, they were designed to appeal to a more exclusive market of connoisseurs and collectors. Because the series was issued over several years, it is likely that individual images were sold separately. It was also sold in sets for devotional use, and was widely copied by other printmakers and in other media.

Physical description

Engraving by Albrecht Dürer, 'The Man of Sorrows by the Column with the Virgin and Saint John'; 1509, Nuremberg. First of the series 'The Engraved Passion'. Date and artist's monogram inscribed at upper left '1509 / AD'. Christ standing by the column bearing the marks of his crucifixion, an aura of light around his head, gazing at the viewer, as Mary and John look on from below, the hill of Golgotha visible in the distance through an arched window at left.

Place of Origin

Nuremberg (engraved)

Date

1509 (engraved)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Engraving on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'1509 / AD'
Date and artist's monogram inscribed at upper left

Dimensions

Height: 12 cm, Width: 7.6 cm

Historical context note

First of the series The Engraved Passion.

'This is the first subject, as listed by Bartsch, of Dürer's Engraved Passion, although chronologically it was preceded by "The Lamentation over Christ" (.012) which is dated 1507 in the plate. The sheets of the series were issued intermittently, and undoubtedly Dürer sold them singly before the entire cycle was completed.'

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. p.18.

Descriptive line

The Man of Sorrows; plate from 'The Engraved Passion' by Albrecht Durer (1471-1528); engraving

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.3, pp.18-21.
Heller, Joseph. Das Leben und die Werke Albrecht Dürer. Bamberg: 1827. Vols. 2 & 3 (vol. 1 was not published). 139.
Meder, Joseph. Dürer-Katalog: Ein Handbuch über Albrecht Dürers Stiche, Radierungen, Holzschnitte, deren Zustände, Ausgaben und Wasserzeichen. Vienna, 1932. 3.
Dodgson, C. The Masters of Engraving and Etching: Albrecht Dürer, London and Boston, 1926. 52.
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. 399.
Panofsky, Erwin. The Life and Art of Albrecht Dürer. Volume I, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1955 (4th edn). Volume II, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1945 (2nd edn). 110.
Strauss, Walter L. The Intaglio Prints of Albrecht Dürer. New York: 1977. 52.
Bartrum, Giulia. Albrech Dürer and his Legacy: The Graphic Work of a Renaissance Artist. London British Museum, 2002, p 150
Panofsky, Erwin. The Life and Art of Albrecht Dürer. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1955.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design, Accessions 1910, London, Printed for His Majesty’s Stationery Office 1911
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design, Accessions 1910, London, Printed for His Majesty’s Stationery Office 1911

Materials

Paper; Printing ink

Techniques

Engraving

Categories

Prints

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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