Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Coat of Arms with a Skull

Artist:
Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg)
Date:
1503
Medium:
Engraving
Dimensions:
Plate: 8 11/16 x 6 1/4 in. (22.1 x 15.8 cm) Sheet: 9 9/16 x 7 in. (24.3 x 17.9 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1919
Accession Number:
19.73.113
Not on view
In this stunning engraving, Dürer recast the theme of memento mori in a brilliantly unusual form. The woman in patrician dress is identified by her crown as a bride, but the person who embraces her from behind is a wild man. This traditional figure from German folklore is often present at weddings, but his shield, invisible to the young woman, reveals him to be a surrogate of Death. The angle of the skull on the shield is exactly that of the young woman's head.
Marking: Watermark: high crown (Piccard 53437) (B. 4902) (Mader 20)
Junius Spencer Morgan; Vendor: Junius Spencer Morgan
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Print in the North," May 06, 1997 - July 13, 1997.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 17, 2006–January 7, 2007.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Power of Prints: The Legacy of William M. Ivins and A. Hyatt Mayor," January 26, 2016–May 22, 2016.

K.30; B.VII.109.101; Meder 20
Rainer Schoch, Matthias Mende, Anna Scherbaum Albrecht Dürer, Das druckgraphische Werk. Prestel, Vol. 1-3, Munich; London; New York, 2001–2004.



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