About this artwork
Albrecht Dürer idolized the learned Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus, famously noting in his diary that Erasmus should take over for the Protestant revolutionary Martin Luther, whom Dürer feared had been killed. The artist and the scholar met three times in the Netherlands in 1520–21, and Dürer gave Erasmus several prints and drew his portrait. Erasmus also praised the artist, observing that, like artists of antiquity, “What cannot Dürer express in monochromes, that is, by black lines only?” Fittingly, Dürer’s expansive monochrome engraving includes Latin and Greek captions complimenting Erasmus’s scholarship, with his hefty tomes piled along its lower edge.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Albrecht Dürer
- Erasmus of Rotterdam
- Engraving in black on ivory laid paper
- Inscribed recto, in plate, upper center of tablet in image, Latin and Greek. The Greek has been translated to say: "His writings present a better picture of the man than this portrait" or "the better image will his writings show."; date inscribed recto, in plate, center of tablet in image: “MDXXVI”; monogram inscribed recto, in plate, lower center of tablet in image; inscribed recto, below plate, lower center, in graphite: “B – 107"
- 251 × 193 mm (image/plate); 258 × 197 mm (sheet)
- Bequest of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.