Albrecht Dürer, ‘The Adoration of the Lamb (The Hymn of the Chosen)’, ca. 1496, Galerie d'Orsay

In excellent condition, trimmed down to the borderline on all four sides. Bartsch 67; Meder 176; Dodgson 1; Panofsky 287; Hollstein 176; Strauss 42; Schoch/Mende/Scherbaum 124. A fine, dark and rich 16th century/lifetime impression, from the Latin edition of 1511 bearing the Latin letterpress text on the verso. The thirteenth of fifteen woodcuts created by Dürer to illustrate the last book of the New Testament, the Revelations of Saint John the Divine, the Apocalypse. Collections in which impressions of this woodcut from this edition can be found: Rijksmuseum (Rijksprentenkabinet), Amsterdam; Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturlesitz (Kupferstichkabinett), Berlin; Herzog-Anton-Ulrich-Museum (Kupferstichkabinett), Braunschweig; Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich; Germanisches Nationalmuseum (Graphische Sammlung), Nuremberg; Bibliothèque Nationale (Cabinet des Estampes), Paris; Musées de la Ville de Paris, Musée du Petit Palais (Collection Duthuit), Paris; Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts Graphiques (Collection Rothschild), Paris; Bibliothek Otto Schäfer, Schweinfurt; Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna. Revelation 5: (6) And I beheld and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four living beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 14: (1) And I looked and, lo, a Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having his father’s name written on their foreheads. (3) And they sang, as it were, a new song before the throne and before the four living beasts and the elders. 19: (4) And the four and twenty elders and the four living beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying Amen, Hallelujah! (10) And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me: See thou, do it not! I am thy fellow servant. 7: (9) After this, I beheld and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds and peoples, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands, (10) and I cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb. (13) And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, Who are these who are arrayed in white robes? And from where did they come?

This sheet is counted among the earliest of the Apocalypse series. The composition is not dependent on any earlier version, but is pieced together from various passages of the text. The Chosen carry palm branches, as mentioned in 7:9, not harps, called for in 14:2. The twenty-four elders – exactly twenty-four are pictured – wear crowns. The four living “beasts” are the bull, the lion, the eagle, and an Angel, symbolic of Sts. Luke, Mark, John, and Matthew, respectively. Each of them is covered with a multitude of eyes. The Lamb is standing on the rainbow, which denotes the throne of God. St. John is kneeling in the foreground.

Signature: Signed in the block with the artist’s monogram lower center.

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