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    Sale 7375

    The Genius of the German Renaissance: Prints by Albrecht Dürer

    4 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 18

    Albrecht Dürer

    The Babylonian Whore, from The Apocalypse (B. 73; M., Holl. 177; S.M.S. 125)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Albrecht Dürer
    The Babylonian Whore, from The Apocalypse (B. 73; M., Holl. 177; S.M.S. 125)
    woodcut, circa 1496/97, a brilliant, black and even impression, a proof before the German and Latin text editions of 1498, watermark Imperial Orb (M. 53), trimmed to the borderline, in excellent condition
    B., S. 393 x 282 mm.


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    The realistic way in which Dürer depicted John's cryptic visions becomes particularly apparent in the present image. The figure and attire of the Whore is closely based on a highly finished drawing of a Venetian lady he made on his first trip to Venice in 1494-95 (W. 69). Venice, the largest and richest city in Europe, was famous for its courtesans and the alluring appearance and louche behaviour of its women. Here Dürer rendered the woman's dress and coiffure, the plants in the foreground and the landscape in the distance with greatest detail and accuracy. By taking such pains to accurately describe the natural world, the supernatural events unfolding within it also appear real.

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    Provenance

    Albertina, Vienna, with their de-accession stamp (cf. L. 174).
    With P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London.
    F. Somary (his stamp verso, not in Lugt).