Christ washing the St. Peter’s feet
|Measures:||98 x 125 mm|
|Measures:||98 x 125 mm|
Woodcut, 1509- 1510 circa, signed in the image, lower right, with monogram.
From the series The Small Passion. Example from the Italian book edition of 1612: segnature D beneath the image. A fine impression, printed on contemporary laid paper, with full margins, very good condition.
This is the nineth plate from a copy of the second edition of the series, published by Daniel Bissuccio, Venice, 1612. The first edition was published in Nuremberg in 1511 This edition concists of 37 illustrations, all with Italian text on the verso. In addition to the illustrations, this edition has four text sheets and a title-page.
Christ is shown without a halo. Thus Christ becomes indistinguishable from his own disciples, simply a lovingly humble human being doing service to his fellow men. This aspect is reinforced by the accompanying verses: Chelidonius reiterates the importance of humility and love.
Around 1509, while still completing the Large Passion, Dürer commenced his most extensive series of the Passion of Christ, The Small Passion, which comprises thirty-seven woodcuts. The series was published as a book; each platesi s accompanied by a descritive narrative text composed by Dürer’s friend, the humanist cleric Benedictus Chelidonius, who had previously collaborated with the artist on the texts for the woodcut series of the Life of Virgin and the Large Passion. It was Friedrich Winkler who in 1941 suggested that Hans Schäufelein, one of Dürer’s students, provide the model for the Small Passion, but this proposal is not unanimously accepted by scholars. Angela Hass notes that given what we know of Dürer character and of the relative gifts of the two artists, the Master/pupil relationship alone speaks against it. So, too, does the fact that there is an altered emphasis in both the choice and interpretation of subject matter. Dürer includes nine themes that don't appear in Schäufelein's series , the title page and the four introductory scenes that precede Christ's Entry to Jerusalem, further four legendary scenes were added , they include Sts Veronica, Peter and Paul ; two scenes that feature in Schaufelein's series arc omitted by Dürer , the Disrobing of Christ and , more importantly , the Coronation of the Virgin . Another reason for questioning Winkler’s view arises from the fact that a substantial parte of the iconography which Dürer employs in the Small Passion series can be traced back to contemporary and prior works of art which were readily available to both artists.
Hollstein, 134; Bartsch, 25; Panofsky, 245; Strauss, 135; TIB 1001.225; A. Hass, Two Devotional Manuals by Albrecht Dürer: The "Small Passion" and the "Engraved Passion." Iconography, Context and Spirituality, in Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 63. Bd., H. 2 (2000), pp. 169-230 (62 pages)