ST. JEROME PENITENT IN THE WILDERNESS

Albrecht Dürer
ST. JEROME PENITENT IN THE WILDERNESS
engraving
1496

An original Albrecht Dürer engraving.

1496

Original engraving printed in black ink on laid paper bearing the “Bishop’s Crest” watermark (Meder 39)

Signed in the plate with the artist’s monogram lower center. 

A superb, black, richly inked 16th century Meder “f” (of g) impression, showing the vertical scratch parallel to the right margin, printed c. 1540-50. 

Catalog: Bartsch 61; Dodgson 11; Panofsky 168; Meder 57.f; Strauss 8; Schoch/Mende/Scherbaum 6.

Dürer made no fewer than six prints of St. Jerome during the course of his career.  His obsession with this particular Saint is a reflection of the increasing veneration accorded to the four church fathers during the course of the fifteenth century.  Dürer has here been inspired by his travels through the Alps and by his watercolor studies of quarries and cliffs around Nuremberg to create a rocky setting for an interpretation of St. Jerome fasting in the desert.  It also provided an opportunity for him to demonstrate his rapidly developing skill with the burin in the representation of various textures, from smooth sunlit rock-face and crumbling rocks to plants and leaves.

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