THE ADORATION OF THE LAMB (The Hymn of the Chosen)

Albrecht Dürer
THE ADORATION OF THE LAMB (The Hymn of the Chosen)
c. 1496-97

An original Albrecht Dürer woodcut print.

c. 1496-97

Original woodcut printed in black ink on laid paper without watermark (as is typical with impressions from this edition). 

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

A fine, dark and rich 16th century/lifetime impression, from the Latin edition of 1511 bearing the Latin letterpress text on the verso.  The thirteenth of fifteen woodcuts created by Dürer to illustrate the last book of the New Testament, the Revelations of Saint John the Divine, the Apocalypse

Catalog: Bartsch 67; Meder 176; Dodgson 1; Panofsky 287; Hollstein 176; Strauss 42; Schoch/Mende/Scherbaum 124.

15 3/8 x 11 inches

Revelation 5: (6) And I beheld and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four living beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.  14: (1) And I looked and, lo, a Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having his father’s name written on their foreheads.  (3) And they sang, as it were, a new song before the throne and before the four living beasts and the elders.  19: (4) And the four and twenty elders and the four living beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying Amen, Hallelujah!  (10) And I fell at his feet to worship him.  And he said to me: See thou, do it not!  I am thy fellow servant.  7: (9) After this, I beheld and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds and peoples, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands, (10) and I cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb.  (13) And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, Who are these who are arrayed in white robes?  And from where did they come?

This sheet is counted among the earliest of the Apocalypse series.  The composition is not dependent on any earlier version, but is pieced together from various passages of the text.  The Chosen carry palm branches, as mentioned in 7:9, not harps, called for in 14:2.  The twenty-four elders – exactly twenty-four are pictured – wear crowns.  The four living “beasts” are the bull, the lion, the eagle, and an Angel, symbolic of Sts. Luke, Mark, John, and Matthew, respectively.  Each of them is covered with a multitude of eyes.  The Lamb is standing on the rainbow, which denotes the throne of God.  St. John is kneeling in the foreground.