Skip to Content
Closed today, next open tomorrow. Closed today, next open tomorrow.

The Small Crucifixion ("The Pommel of Emperor Maximilian")

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

Image actions

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




Albrecht Dürer
German, 1471-1528

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")


Germany (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1519


Engraving in black on ivory laid paper


Sheet: 3.6 × 3.6 cm (1 7/16 × 1 7/16 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

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 . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions