Albrecht Dürer, ‘The Promenade (B. 94; M., Holl. 83; S.M.S. 19)’, ca. 1498, Christie's Old Masters

Engraving, circa 1498, watermark Gothic P (M. 322), a fine, rich Meder I a-b impression, with traces of burr and a light plate tone, trimmed to or on the platemark, generally in good condition.

Dürer's prints are replete with symbols. The vigorous, quick-growing plant at the left represents lust and desire, as does the sword, which Dürer places rather unambiguously between the young man's legs. The gallant is walking with his beloved - a married woman - in the countryside. Both are oblivious to Death, who lurks behind a tree in the background, holding an hourglass above his head. This is a modern, moralized version of the early 15th century theme of the Garden of Love, a memento mori and a warning against adultery. However, the moralizing tone is tinged with sadness that their love and beauty will not last.

Pierre Mariette (1634-1716), Paris (L. 1789), dated 1669.

Norbert Handwerk (born 1909), Munich and Switzerland, with his paraphe in pencil verso; Christie's, New York, _Engravings, Etchings and

Drypoints by Albrecht Dürer from a Private Swiss Collection_, 19

November 1986, lot 517 (US$13,200).

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