|Measures:||95 x 125 mm|
|Measures:||95 x 125 mm|
Woodcut, 1510 circa, signed lower centre in the image with monogram.
From the series The Small Passion. Example from the first latin book edition of 1511.
Magnificent proof, printed with tone on contemporary laid paper, irreguralely trimmed to the borderline, very good condition.
The apostle in the foreground is reminiscent of the “Heller Altarpiece”, whereas the Virgin bears a close resemblance to Schäufelein’s in the correspondong sheet.
Conforming to Scripture, Christ’s followers are surmounted by “cloven tongues as of fire” (Acts 2:1-3) that symbolize the “outpourung of the Holy Spirit”. Contrary to Schäufelein, the event takes place in the open air, and there are many participans as there is no record that the scene was witnessed only by the disciples. However, a detailed study reveals the artist’s personal understanding. The most striking aspect of Dürer’s version of the Penecost is similarly that th inspiration of the Holy Ghost is not confined to Mary and disciples: fifteen flames issue forth from the crowns of Mary and Christ’s old and new followers, while in background three of the devout Jews mentioned in Acts are still seated, looking on and discussing the events before them. While Dürer's expansion of the common number of twelve to fifteen enlightened beings can be justified in terms of the description provided in Acts, it remains a license in pictorial terms. Local forerunners, including Dürer's teacher Wolgemut, principally show twelve blessed figures including the Virgin. Further, in his accompanying text for this image Chelidonius comments on the descent of the Holy Ghost in relation to the disciples only; this too is at odds with the visual evidence in Dürer’s image.
The original wood block is in the British Museum.
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, 160; Bartsch, 51; Panofsky, 271; Strauss, 135; TIB 1001.251; 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)