Albrecht Dürer
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Albrecht Dürer

The Dream of the Doctor (B. 76; M., Holl. 70; S.M.S. 18)

Albrecht Dürer
The Dream of the Doctor
(B. 76; M., Holl. 70; S.M.S. 18)
engraving, circa 1498, without watermark, a very fine, rich and black Meder a-b impression, with burr in the darkest areas, printing with very faint wiping marks below, trimmed inside the platemark on three sides but retaining a fillet of blank paper outside the borderline, trimmed on or just inside the platemark above, in excellent condition
S. 7 3/8 x 4 5/8 in. (187 x 118 mm.)
August Artaria (1807-1893), Vienna (L. 33); his posthumous sale, Artaria, Vienna, 6-13 May 1896, lot 96 (Mk 130).
Dr. Gottfried Eissler (1862-1924), Vienna (L. 805b); his sale, C.G. Boerner, Leipzig, 8 - 10 November 1921, lot 272.
Henry Harper Benedict (1844-1935), New York (L. 2936); then by descent. Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, 10 May 1973, lot 74 (US$11,500).
British Rail Pension Fund; their sale, Sotheby's, London, 29 June 1987, lot 11 (£33,000).
Special notice
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.

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Richard Lloyd
Richard Lloyd

Lot Essay

Resting on soft cushions by a stove, a man has fallen asleep, whilst a devil or demon blows sinful thoughts into his ear. In his lustful dreams, Venus herself tempts him while little Amor tries to walk on stilts and has cast aside a toy ball. The moral lessons are obvious; sloth leads to lust, and love is fickle. The so-called Dream of the Doctor is a secular version of the Fall of Man, complete with the apple resting on the stove, and Venus is closely related to Eve in Adam and Eve (lot 26). There is a charm and light-heartedness about this print which does not quite seem to support the moral rigor of its message.

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