Albrecht Dürer, Melencolia I, 1514. Engraving, 9.4 x 7.3 in., 23.8 x 18.5 cm. Private Collection.

Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) is one of the most celebrated and highly skilled artists in the history of German art. He worked in various media, but had his greatest impact as a printmaker, transforming the medium from one that existed almost exclusively to illustrate books into an independent art form. He created both woodcuts and engravings, and was able to harness the unique visual language of each technique to create works of unparalleled artistic virtuosity and psychological complexity. One of the most famous of these prints, Melencolia (1514), is the centerpiece of the inaugural exhibition in the new European works on paper gallery. In addition to fourteen Dürer prints, the exhibition will feature engravings and woodcuts by some of the other leading artists of the period, including Heinrich Aldegrever and Hans Sebald Beham. The exhibition will explore how Dürer’s artwork influenced the work of his contemporaries, and examine the important role that early German printed books played in the artistic climate of Renaissance Germany.

November 24, 2015–May 31, 2016


Albrecht Dürer, Nemesis, c. 1501. Engraving, 12.7 x 9.1 in., 32.2 x 23 cm. Private Collection.


Albrecht Dürer, Virgin and Child with the Monkey, 1498. Engraving, 7 7/16 x 4 3/4 in., 18.9 x 12 cm. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Museum purchase with funds provided by Marjorie G. Horning, the Marjorie G. and Evan C. Horning Print Fund, the Director's Accessions Fund, and the Evan C. Horning Memorial Fund in memory of Evan C. Horning. © Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


Albrecht Dürer, The Vision of The Seven Candlesticks from the 'Apocalypse' or 'The Revelations of St. John the Divine', 1498. Woodcut, 39.5 x 28.4 cm. Private Collection.


Albrecht Dürer, Map of the Southern Sky, with representations of constellations, decorated with the crest of Cardinal Lang von Wellenburg, and a dedication to him with his coats of arms and the Imperial copyright, 15, 1515. Woodcut, 42.7 x 43.1 cm. Private Collection.


Albrecht Dürer, St. Michael and the Dragon, from a Latin edition, 1511. Xylograph. Bibliotheque Nationale de France. © Bibliotheque Nationale de France.


Albrecht Dürer, The Witches, Private Collection. Photo © Christie's Images.


Albrecht Dürer, Design for 'The Great Triumphal Chariot of Emperor Maximilian I': detail showing the Virtues steering the team of horses, planned by Willibald Pirckheimer, pub. c.1518, c. 1518. Woodcut. Private Collection.


Albrecht Dürer, Adam and Eve, 1504. Engraving. Printed In Black Ink On Laid Paper, 9 7/8 x 7 5/8. Detroit Institute of Arts. Founders Society Purchase, New Endowment Fund. © Detroit Institute of Arts.


Albrecht Dürer, Map of the Northern Sky with representations of the constellations, decorated with (clockwise) the astronomers Aratus Cilix, Ptolemaeus Aegyptus, Azophi Arabus (Addorrhaman al-Sufi) and M. Manlius Rom, 1515. Woodcut, 43 x 43 cm. Private Collection.


Albrecht Dürer, Coat of Arms of the Durer Family, with the artist's monogram and space for an inscription, 1523. Woodcut Private Collection.