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    Sale 7375

    The Genius of the German Renaissance: Prints by Albrecht Dürer

    4 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 62

    Albrecht Dürer

    The Virgin and Child on a grassy Bench (B. 34; M., Holl. 31; S.M.S. 36)

    Price Realised  


    Albrecht Dürer
    The Virgin and Child on a grassy Bench (B. 34; M., Holl. 31; S.M.S. 36)
    engraving, 1503, very fine Meder a impression, printing with burr, with a fragment of a High Crown watermark (M. 20), with thread margins, a very faint flattened vertical crease in the blank area above the Virgin's head, a few tiny rust spots visible verso, Somary's stamp just showing through, otherwise in very good condition
    P. 115 x 70 mm., S. 116 x 72 mm.

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    Everything in the Virgin and Child on grassy Bench is aimed at creating a sense of intimacy and modesty; neither the Virgin nor the Christ Child has a halo, the group is seen at an angle slightly from above and the hortus conclusus, only hinted at with a few simple plants and blades of grass, is not walled in but merely delineated by a simple wooden fence. The lack of a landscape in the background adds to the peace and simplicity of the scene, as does the little songbird perched on the fence. Mary is completely absorbed in her care for the Child, and by choosing to depict her nursing the Child Dürer further intensified the feeling of intimacy, almost to the point where as a viewer one is afraid to disturb them.

    This is a deceptively effortless print, and one which required all of Dürer's technical expertise to produce. It was to become one of his most popular prints of its time, and no fewer than 12 copies of this engraving are known.

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    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.


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