The Way of Salvation

A work made of woodcut in black hand colored with brush and watercolor on cream laid paper, laid down on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of woodcut in black hand colored with brush and watercolor on cream laid paper, laid down on cream laid paper.

Date:

c. 1490

Artist:

Artist unknown
German, active c. 1490

About this artwork

A pair of prints from opposite sides of the Alps demonstrates the didactic capabilities of devotional printmaking. Both depict a sacred mountain that the soul must climb toward heaven. In Baccio Baldini’s extremely early engraved book illustration of an Italianate ladder of virtues, a monk successfully ascends, while a fashionable young man is dragged away by a demon representing worldly pleasures. Its thistle-laden German counterpart consists of banderole rungs filled with xylographic text and a crowned Christ waiting in glory. A nun kneeling at the bottom may have commissioned the print. She envisions a torturous journey up the steep incline, her twelve-step program advocating different Christian virtues: faith, generosity, modesty, constancy, justice, strength, will, patience, obedience, humility and at long last, divinity.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Unknown artist

Title

The Way of Salvation

Origin

Germany

Date

1485–1495

Medium

Woodcut in black hand colored with brush and watercolor on cream laid paper, laid down on cream laid paper

Dimensions

263 × 180 mm (image/sheet); 267 × 184 mm (backing)

Credit Line

Clarence Buckingham Collection

Reference Number

1947.473

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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