Fiftieth anniversary gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1969.271
Catalogue raisonné: Meder 266
Albrecht Dürer’s depiction of men relaxing in a public bath house was unusual in the early 1500s because it showed nudity without an accompanying mythological or biblical narrative. The print showcases Dürer’s ability to depict the male figure in various inventive poses and may feature portraits of some of his friends. Meant to be studied closely, the image includes visual puns such as the faucet placed near the man’s groin at left. The popularity of the print during Dürer’s lifetime may relate to the 1496 closure of the public bath in his hometown of Nuremberg to prevent a syphilis outbreak.
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