Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

The Holy Family

Artist:
Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg)
Date:
1512–13
Medium:
Drypoint
Dimensions:
Sheet: 8 1/4 x 7 1/8 in. (21 x 18.1 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1919
Accession Number:
19.73.51
Not on view
Dürer created only three prints in the medium of drypoint. Since the other two are dated 1512, this drypoint is presumed to date from the same time. The print was thus produced at the height of the artist's career, just prior to such famous "master prints" as the Melancholia and Knight, Death, and the Devil. Yet the composition harks back to one of the artist's earliest engravings, produced when Dürer was under the influence of the most prolific drypoint artist of the Renaissance, the Housebook Master.
Produced by scratching the surface of the metal with a sharp needle, the image has the character of a delicate drawing. Apparently conceived in an experimental mode and never completed, the print is nonetheless highly evocative. The three ghostly figures who press into the space behind the Virgin and Child—Saint John, the Magdelene, and Nicodemus—do not belong to the story of Christ's childhood but, as witnesses to the Crucifixion, are a presentiment of his future suffering. The soft shadow produced by the drypoint burr shrouds the figures and deepens the melancholy atmosphere.
Vendor: Junius Spencer Morgan
Koehler 66 i; Bartsch VII.61.43; Meder 44 ia; Schoch, Mende, and Scherbaum 66ib
Rainer Schoch, Matthias Mende, Anna Scherbaum Albrecht Dürer, Das druckgraphische Werk. Prestel, Vol. 1-3, Munich; London; New York, 2001–2004.



Related Objects

Christ Carrying the Cross from a set of The Passion

Artist: Design based on a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg) Date: 1598 Medium: Wool, silk, metal thread (20 warp threads per inch, 8 per cm.) Accession: 11.148.5 On view in:Not on view

The Ascension from a set of The Passion

Artist: Design based on a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg) Date: 1592 Medium: Wool, silk, metal thread (20 warp threads per inch, 8 per cm.) Accession: 11.148.1 On view in:Not on view

Christ Washing the Feet of His Disciples from a set of The Passion

Artist: Design based on a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg) Date: 1595 Medium: Wool, silk, metal thread (20 warp threads per inch, 8 per cm.) Accession: 11.148.3 On view in:Not on view

Female Nude Seen from Behind

Artist: After a composition by Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg) Date: early 17th century Medium: Honestone Accession: 17.190.467 On view in:Gallery 520

Sixteenth-century-style pendant

Artist: Style of Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg) Date: 19th century Medium: Gold, pearls, sapphire, enamel Accession: 17.190.868 On view in:Not on view