Young Bull

Ink drawing of bull, bones seen through skin, standing with head lowered.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Ink drawing of bull, bones seen through skin, standing with head lowered.

Date:

c. 1496, erroneously inscribed in another hand 1508

Artist:

Albrecht Dürer
German, 1471–1528

About this artwork

From an early age, Albrecht Dürer displayed an inquisitive mind and exceptional talent as a draftsman. He was born in Nuremberg and first trained as a goldsmith in his father’s shop before apprenticing with the painter Michael Wolgemut. One of his earliest animal drawings, Young Steer shows its subject grazing in an unseen field. The artist’s sure strokes and adept cross-hatching delineate the steer’s sculptural form, with taut skin stretched over a strong yet bony frame. Dürer’s precise draftsmanship recalls the drawings and prints of the celebrated German master Martin Schongauer, whom he greatly admired. This work was probably a study from nature; sketchy lines around the animal’s right hind foot, back, muzzle, and horns reveal that the artist originally drew the steer in a slightly different position, with his mouth open. A masterful engraver who would elevate printmaking to an expressive art form over the course of his career, Dürer employed the steer’s hindquarters for the barnyard scene in his engraving The Prodigal Son amid the Swine (1494/96), an impression of which is in the Art Institute.

Currently Off View

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Albrecht Dürer

Title

Young Bull

Origin

Germany

Date

1508

Medium

Pen and black ink on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

175 × 140 mm

Credit Line

Clarence Buckingham Collection

Reference Number

1965.408

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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