Albrecht Dürer
Virtuoso Printmaker

November 21, 2009–July 5, 2010
Clementine Brown Gallery (Gallery 170)
"A sterling one-room show of Dürer’s prints...the MFA’s holdings are top-notch, and the show includes some of the finest, most indelible images in the whole history of art." -Boston Globe

Albrecht Dürer was the pivotal figure of Late Gothic and High Renaissance German art. He remains, after 500 years—like Rembrandt, Goya, and Picasso—one of the supreme masters of printmaking. His engravings and woodcuts are a dazzling combination of observation, imagination, and technical virtuosity. This choice selection of some 45 works from the MFA's outstanding collection includes iconic prints, such as the engravings Adam and Eve (1504), Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513), and the woodcut of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1497-98). Lesser-known but equally compelling engravings, such as The Prodigal Son amid the Swine (1496) and the Coat of Arms of Death (1503), document Dürer’s remarkable powers of observation as well as his vivid imagination. A newly acquired early impression of the rare woodcut The Beheading of St. Catherine (1498) joins a lineup of great impressions of the artist's single-sheet woodcuts from the 1490s. The exhibition also features selections from Dürer’s celebrated woodcut series, including The Large Passion and The Life of the Virgin, his innovative experiments with new media, including the etching of the Landscape with the Cannon (1518) and the drypoint of St. Jerome by the Pollard Willow (1512), and books he authored and illustrated on human proportion, drawing devices, and fortification.

See an interactive exhibition preview

Supported by the Benjamin A. Trustman and Julia M. Trustman Fund.