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    Sale 7375

    The Genius of the German Renaissance: Prints by Albrecht Dürer

    4 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 9

    Albrecht Dürer

    A Lady on Horseback and a Lansquenet (B. 82; M., Holl. 84; S.M.S. 16)

    Price Realised  

    Albrecht Dürer
    A Lady on Horseback and a Lansquenet (B. 82; M., Holl. 84; S.M.S. 16)
    engraving, circa 1497, a fine Meder a impression, with part of a Bull's Head watermark (M. 62), trimmed on or just outside the platemark, with one or two tiny touches of pen and ink to the platemark and the tip of the lance, otherwise in very good condition
    S. 108 x 77 mm.


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    Since Vasari's time this engraving has been understood to depict a noble lady in love with her page. However, as Rainer Schoch has pointed out, this is not an anecdote from the chivalrous 15th Century, but very much a theme from Dürer's own time; love in the time of war. A soldier says goodbye to his lover as he goes off to battle. They gently touch and gaze lovingly into each others' eyes. As a farewell gift, the lansquenet has given her his plumed hat, of similar design to the one depicted in the Little Courier (see next lot).

    This is clearly a secular and non-mythological subject - one is tempted to call it a genre scene - and yet it is not without allegorical meaning. Like so many of Dürer's early prints, it is a meditation on the nature of love. Charming and sentimental as it is, The Lady on Horseback and the Lansquenet is also a satire on the power of women, for it is the woman who sits high on the horse, proudly sporting her lover's flamboyant gift.

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    Provenance

    Sir Peter Lely (L. 2092), with his pen and ink annotation Ag. 55 on the reverse.
    H. S. Theobald (L. 1375); H. G. Gutekunst, Stuttgart, 12-14 May 1910, possibly lot 243.
    H. H. Benedict (L. 2936, but in pale green not blue); Sotheby's, London, 7 March 1963, lot 20 (£220 to Edelmann).