• 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 46

    Albrecht Dürer

    Glorification of the Virgin, from The Life of the Virgin (B. 95; M., Holl. 207; S.M.S. 185)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Albrecht Dürer
    Glorification of the Virgin, from The Life of the Virgin (B. 95; M., Holl. 207; S.M.S. 185)
    woodcut, circa 1502, a fine Meder a impression before the crack in the block and before the text edition of 1511, watermark High Crown (M. 20), with 7-9 mm. margins all around, with much gaufrage, a skinned spot at the centre of each sheet edge due to removed hinges visible only verso, otherwise in excellent, fresh condition
    B. 297 x 213 mm., S. 313 x 230


    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

    Although the present work is the final plate in the published edition of the Life of the Virgin, it is considered to be the earliest one of the series on stylistic grounds. The densely composed group of figures, probably inspired by the Italian notion of the Sacra Conversazione stands in front of the room rather than within it, while the room itself gives the impression of a stage set made up of different architectural elements, rather than an actual building. In a similar way the ledge in the foreground, so charmingly populated by a group of putti and a rabbit and decorated with flowers, is a device to create the illusion of depth without establishing a spatial relationship to the figures.

    The putti holding the empty coats of arms, reminiscent of the Three Genii (lot 37), are an indication that Dürer had originally intended this plate to be the first in the series. Such blank coats of arms are frequently to be found on title pages of the time and were meant to hold the hand-painted crest of the book's owner.

    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.


    Provenance

    F. von Hagens (L. 1052 a).
    F. Somary (his stamp verso, not in Lugt).