About this artwork
Albrecht Dürer engraved this Crucifixion scene on a small golden plate, which likely decorated the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian’s hat or sword hilt. The backward letters INRI (identifying Christ as the so-called King of the Jews) and the switched placement of Mary and John suggest that this impression was pulled from such a plate, the image appearing in reverse as a result of the printing process. Considering the softness of precious metals, gold plates were primarily intended as jewelry rather than as printing matrices. Dürer’s early training with his goldsmith father likely influenced his skill with the burin, especially on this minute scale.
- Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Albrecht Dürer
- The Small Crucifixion ("The Pommel of Emperor Maximilian")
- Made 1519
- Engraving in black on ivory laid paper
- 36 × 36 mm (sheet)
- Bequest of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.