Female Nude Seen from Behind

Artist: After a composition by Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg)

Date: early 17th century

Culture: German

Medium: Honestone

Dimensions: Overall: 6 × 2 5/8 in. (15.2 × 6.7 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Miniature

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.467


For its original audience, this object’s worth lay neither in raw material nor in design, but in the monogram. Dürer’s signature was already so famous in his lifetime that its duplication by other artists was recognized as a crime (even if they were permitted to sell copies of his prints). Ironic, then, that this was made after Dürer’s death, in his style, falsely monogrammed and backdated. It was created to feed a phenomenon called the "Dürer Renaissance," when rich collectors such as Emperor Rudolf II and Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria competed to acquire the master’s works—venerating them, as one commentator noted, as if they were saintly relics.

[Elizabeth Cleland, 2017]