THE ILL-ASSORTED COUPLE (or “The Promise of Love”)

Albrecht Dürer
THE ILL-ASSORTED COUPLE (or “The Promise of Love”)

An original Albrecht Dürer engraving.



Original engraving printed in black ink on laid paper. 

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

A strong, dark and richly printed 16th century/lifetime Meder "c" (of "e") impression of the first state of three, printed after the appearance of the faint vertical scratch in front of the horse, but well prior to the retouching of the mountains and the woman’s veil, printed circa 1514.

Catalog: Bartsch 93; Dodgson 5; Meder 77 I.c/III; Panofsky 200; Strauss 5; Schoch/Mende/Scherbaum 3.

The style of the monogram indicates that this is one of Dürer’s earliest engravings.  Although a moralizing theme was read into this episode by some early commentators, Dürer probably intended to do no more than to portray purchased love.