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The Large Passion: The Last Supper

(German, 1471–1528)
Catalogue raisonné: Meder 114
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Two distinct styles are evident in the scenes of The Large Passion designed before 1500 and those made 10 years later, after Dürer's second journey to Venice. While the effect of the early scenes relies on using line, those executed after 1500 depend on tonal contrasts. Dürer expanded the number of tones from black and white to a range of grays by using parallel hatchings and by varying the widths of lines and the spaces between them. Areas of white paper seem more or less bright depending on the density of black around them—compare the halo of light around Christ's head with the highlight on the jug in the foreground. Further, the bold outlines of the first seven woodcuts, in which details are indicated by lively, individual strokes, have been replaced by more delicate, less dominant outlines, which are often blended into the shading created by even, parallel lines. Durer's later style is characterized by greater simplicity and economy of line, monumental figures that are comfortable within the picture space, and a harmonious, unified composition.
The Large Passion:  The Last Supper

The Large Passion: The Last Supper


Albrecht Dürer

(German, 1471–1528)
Germany, 16th century

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