Albrecht Dürer, ‘Sol Iustitiae (Bartsch 79; Meder, Hollstein 73; Schoch, Mende, Scherbaum 23)’, ca. 1499, Christie's Old Masters

Engraving, circa 1499, with part of a High Crown watermark (M. 20), a fine Meder a impression, trimmed to or on the platemark, with thread margins in places, in very good condition.

This curious image of a young man seated on a lion, holding a sword and scales, with rays of light shining from his eyes, is not simply an allegory of justice, but also a depiction of Christ as sun-god and universal judge, with the lion as the astrological symbol of the sun. It is a fascinating combination of Christian principles, pagan iconography and astrology, which had co-existed, merged and survived until Dürer's time.

Paul Prouté (born 1887), Paris (L. 2103c).

About Albrecht Dürer

Considered one of the foremost artists of the Renaissance period, Albrecht Dürer’s extensive work in printmaking transformed the categorization of the medium from craft to fine art. Often depicting religious subjects, Dürer’s woodcuts and engravings demonstrated unprecedented technical skill, tonal variation, and compositional sophistication. Dürer theorized extensively on linear perspective and anatomical proportion, concerns that were articulated in a vast body of written work as well as in his paintings and prints. Dürer’s skill earned him the role of court artist for Holy Roman Emperors Maximilian I and Charles V, under whom he created a number of paintings and altarpieces. Dürer’s series of self-portraits, created throughout his career, represent some of his most iconic works.

German, 1471-1528, Nuremberg, Germany, based in Nuremberg, Germany