MADONNA WITH THE PEAR

Albrecht Dürer
MADONNA WITH THE PEAR
Engraving
1511

An original Albrecht Dürer Engraving.

1511

Original engraving printed in black ink on laid paper.

Signed in the plate with the artist’s monogram on a tablet lower left, dated on a tablet upper center.

A fine 16th century Meder “c” impression, printed after the appearance of the scratches in the plate circa 1560-1570.

Catalog: Bartsch 41; Meder 33.c; Holstein 33; Schoch/Mende/Scherbaum

Size: 6 3/16 x 4 1/4 inches

The right hand of the infant Christ is raised as if in benediction. The scholar Winkler finds the gesture not very convincing, “and neither is it the desire of the Virgin that he should appear as the Redeemer at this early age.” In 1827 the scholar Heller observed that “this beautifully executed sheet is not accorded its proper due, for there are prints by Dürer which are inferior to it but held in greater esteem.” The scholar Thausing considered it the most beautiful of Dürer’s engraved Madonnas.

Commentators have differed as to whether the “Madonna with the Pear” is the most beautiful of the Dürer Madonnas, but there is no doubt that it is a tour de force demonstration of Durer’s mastery. The composition is classic, but the portrait is far from a quiet repose – there is a tension between the Virgin and the Child; some commentators have suggested that the pear is here being used as a pacifier (as opposed the "apple of discord" or temptation).



Share
Tweet
Pin
+1