The Engraved Passion, a series of 16 small plates of almost identical format, was created over a period of six years from 1507 to 1513, and they are regarded as some of Dürer's finest work in the graphic medium. He himself regarded the set highly, and sold it for more than twice the price of the Large Woodcut Passion (lot 132). He also gave sets to the most prominent and influential patrons he encountered on his travels, including Margaret of Austria and Erasmus of Rotterdam. Frederik the Wise, Prince-Elector of Saxony's personal copy is now in the collection of Princeton University.
Whilst the order of the plates is given by the events, it has been questioned whether the last plate, Saint Peter and Saint John at the Gate of the Temple (lot 81) forms part of the series as it does not belong to the narrative of the Passion. Formally and stylistically, however, it clearly does and was probably intended to illustrate the continuation of the spirit of Christ through the Apostles and the Church. This 16th plate, as Panofsky pointed out, also allowed Dürer to print the entire set on four sheets of paper by printing four plates to a sheet.
The Engraved Passion is partly based on a spectacular set of drawings, dated 1504, on paper with a green base heightend with white and black lavis (the so-called 'Green Passion') in the Albertina (W. 300 ff.).