Overall: 23.8 x 18.6 cm (9 3/8 x 7 5/16 in.)
Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., in memory of Ralph King 1926.211
Catalogue raisonné: Meder 75
Although the title indentifies the subject as melancholy, the means by which Dürer demonstrates this emotional state is complex, making Melencolia I the most analyzed and discussed of Dürer’s works. Dürer personifies melancholy as a formidable female—her power originates in her ability to alter a man’s temperament into a melancholic state. Immobilized by her lack of creativity, the winged goddess sits dispiritedly surrounded by the tools and instruments she has lost the inspiration to use. Among intellectuals, melancholy was often associated with introspective, educated people, even genius. Because artists were especially prone to melancholy, this image has been interpreted as Dürer’s spiritual self-portrait, implying that the artist identified with her creative plight.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email email@example.com.