• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7375

    The Genius of the German Renaissance: Prints by Albrecht Dürer

    4 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 48

    Albrecht Dürer

    Calvary with the three Crosses (B. 59; M., Holl. 180; S.M.S. 131)

    Price Realised  


    Albrecht Dürer
    Calvary with the three Crosses (B. 59; M., Holl. 180; S.M.S. 131)
    woodcut, circa 1503, a very good Meder a impression, watermark Scales in a Circle (M. 169), trimmed to the borderline, traces of old adhesive on the reverse, a crease at the tip of the lower left corner, otherwise in good condition
    S. 216 x 147 mm.

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    This Calvary scene belongs to a group of smaller woodcuts of traditional, devotional subjects, prints Dürer referred to in his Netherlandish journal in 1520 as 'schlecht holswerk' ('simple woodwork'). He must have used this expression to differentiate these prints from the large, single woodcuts as well as from the three large woodcut series, which were in every respect more demanding; for the artist, the woodcutter and the viewer.

    It has been suggested that these smaller woodcuts were also conceived as a series, an illustrated edition of a popular collection of prayers called 'Salus animae'. However, it seems more likely that they were meant to be sold as single, devotional images at markets, fairs and sites of pilgrimage.

    For the present Crucifixion a swift little sketch of two of the crosses has survived and is in the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin (W. 328).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Raphaël Esmerian (his initials verso, not in Lugt).