Albrecht Dürer, Knight, Death and the Devil, 1513

Artist: Albrecht Dürer (1471 - 1528)
Title:Knight, Death, & Devil, 1513
Reference:B.98; M.74; S.71
Medium:Original Engraving
Image Size:9 3/4 in x 7 1/2 in (24.8 cm x 19.1 cm)
Sheet Size:9 3/4 in x 7 1/2 in (24.8 cm x 19.1 cm)
Framed Size:27 in x 25 in (68.6 cm x 63.5 cm)
Edition:A Meder (f) of (g) impression, circa mid-16th Century.
Signature:The artist's monogrammed initials and date are engraved in the plate in the lower left 'S · 1513 | AD'.
Condition:This piece is in good condition.
ID #w-4217

Historical Description

This incredibly intricate engraving, Albrecht Dürer Knight, Death and the Devil, 1513 is a fine example of Dürer's exquisite line work. His attention to detail, especially of light, breathes life into the fantastical scene so that the viewer is transported to a time long ago. The robust and handsome Knight is muscular and confident against the haunting foes that he dismisses. Miniscule crosshatching highlights the strength of his horse and the gleaming fur of his faithful dog. Behind him emerge looming, and dark creature and to his side an emaciated, watchful figure of death seated upon his own ghostly horse that bows to the Knight's presence. The scene is encompassed in the romantically luminous grandeur of the German country side, rich with vegetation and ridden with mystery.

According to Weber, this print was particularly inspired by a piece of literature by Dutch writer, Erasmus who published several Christian-inspired works during the early 16th century. Shedding some light onto its symbolism and meaning, the book, titled Enchiridion militis christiani states of the Knight, Death, & Devil:

So that you may not stray from the road of virtue, because it is rough and sad, and because the comforts of this world and the temptations of this world, the flesh and the devil must be overcome, remember this third rule: Pay no attention to the apparitions of terror and phantasy which may confront you at the gate of Hell, as did Aeneas. If you look upon these empty shadows with disdain and remain on the straight and narrow path with zeal and with care, you will overcome all evil.

Created in 1513, Albrecht Dürer included the letter 'S' preceding the date in his signature monogram tablet in the lower left of Knight, Death, & Devil, 1513. This stands for 'Salus,' or the equivalent of Anno Salutis, a form of dating frequently employed by Dürer about this time in his writings. This is considered to be a Meder (f) of (g) impression dating the piece to be mid 16th Century.

Catalogue Raisonné & COA:

Albrecht Dürer Knight, Death and the Devil, 1513 is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisonnés and texts (copies will be enclosed as added documentation with the invoices that will accompany the final sale of the work):

1. Bartsch. (1981). The Illustrated Bartsch Vol. 10. Edited by Walter L. Strauss. Abaris Books: New York. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonne no. 98.

2. Boon, Karel G. & Robert W. Scheller. The Graphic Art of Albrecht Dürer, Hans Dürer, and The Dürer School, Amsterdam, 1971. Listed and illustrated as cat. no. 74 on pg. 68-9.

3. Holzschnitte & Holzschnittfolgen. Albrecht Dürer - Das Druckgraphische Werk, Band I, New York, 2002. Listed and illustrated as cat. no. 69 on pgs. 169 - 173.

4. Meder, Joseph. Dürer-Katalog, Vienna, 1932. Listed and illustrated as cat. no. 74 on pg. 100.

5. Strauss, Walter L., ed. The Intaglio Prints of Albrecht Dürer - Engravings, Etchings, and Drypoints, New York, 1980. Listed and illustrated as cat. no. 71 on pgs. 196 - 9.

6. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.

About the Framing:

Albrecht Dürer Knight, Death and the Devil, 1513 is framed to museum-grade, conservation standards, presented in a complementary moulding and finished with silk-wrapped mats and optical grade Plexiglas.


Subject Matter: Biblical Royalty Animals