The Monstrous Sow of Landser

A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.

Date:

1496

Artist:

Albrecht Dürer
German, 1471-1528

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.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Albrecht Dürer

Title

The Monstrous Sow of Landser

Origin

Germany

Date

1496

Medium

Engraving in black on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

121 × 128 mm

Credit Line

Bequest of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.

Reference Number

1956.932

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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