Sudarium of Saint Veronica Supported by Two Angels

$14,850.00 $5,200.00

Albrecht Dürer
Sudarium of Saint Veronica Supported by Two Angels

An original Albrecht Dürer Engraving.


Original engraving printed in black ink on laid paper.

Dated and signed in the plate with the artist’s monogram on a tablet lower center.

A fine 16th century Meder “d” impression, printed after the appearance of the scratches in the angel’s drapery which characterize such impressions, printed sometime after 1550.

Catalog: Bartsch 25; Dodgson 71; Panofsky 132; Meder 26.d; Strauss 69; Schoch/Mende/Scherbaum 68

3 15/16 x 5 1/2 inches

Few Christian legends are better known and more valued than that of St. Veronica, who compassionately wiped the face of Jesus when He fell beneath the load of His cross on the way to Calvary. Nor is that to be wondered at, for it is a most touching story that appeals at once to the heart of every Christian and, in the version which makes her the wife of a Roman officer, is a moving example of contempt of public opinion and human respect. But the legend though ancient, has only a vague tradition to support it, and the identifications of the woman to whom the name Veronica has been given are several and various.

Dürer had worked intensively during the years up to 1513 on his series of Passion woodcuts, but the natural association of this engraving with the prints of the Engraved Passion, to which it would form an appropriate tail-piece, is precluded by the unusual horizontal format. Dürer himself viewed it as a single sheet print, since he refers to it as Veronicum in his diary of the journey to the Netherlands. On two occasions in August of 1520 he gave impressions away as presents. However, the most striking feature of the print, as subsequent artists such as Dürer’s follower Sebald Beham noticed and many commentators have indicated, is the similarity of the frontal gaze of Christ to Dürer’s self-portrait of 1500 in Munich. As the scholar Panofsky noted “the features of the Savior bear an unmistakable resemblance to Dürer’s own.” It is one of numerous occasions that Dürer associated the idea of his image with that of Christ. Giorgio Vasari’s description of the self-portrait painted on cambric, which the artist sent to Raphael as a gift in about 1515, bears a curious resemblance to the idea of St. Veronica’s sudarium.