About this artwork
Just as he never saw the rhinoceros he portrayed in the woodcut displayed nearby, Albrecht Dürer never witnessed the female pig born at Landser in Germany in 1496 with two conjoined bodies. He did very likely read about it in a broadsheet with a rudimentary woodcut and a more extensive text description. His surprisingly realistic rendering of how the unseen pig—which died soon after birth—might have looked is similarly convincing but inaccurate. While the engraving does not insist on a religious interpretation, misbirths and other unusual natural occurrences were interpreted as signs during this period, either of the imminent Apocalypse or the need for new crusades against the Turks.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Albrecht Dürer
- The Monstrous Sow of Landser
- Engraving in black on ivory laid paper
- 121 × 128 mm
- Bequest of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.