Jun 5, 2006

Knight, Death, and the Devil

Knight, Death, and the Devil


Albrecht Dürer

(German, 1471–1528)


Support: Cream(3) laid paper

Sheet: 24.4 x 19 cm (9 5/8 x 7 1/2 in.)

Elisabeth Severance Prentiss and Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Collections by exchange 1965.231

Catalogue raisonné: Meder 1932, 74a/g



In the 1500s, artists celebrated male figures whose fortitude and faith enabled them to resist temptation. Dürer's Knight, Death, and the Devil, one of the artist's three master works, references the active life of man, celebrated in the soldier on his noble horse. Resolutely forging ahead through the dark gorge, he ignores the horned devil and manifestations of evil that cross his path. Even confronted by Death itself, crowned with snakes and holding the hourglass of mortality, the soldier, with his faithful dog, represents the righteousness needed to steel oneself against wickedness.

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