Northern Europe, German
13 15/16 in. x 10 1/4 in. (35.4 cm x 26.04 cm)
Medium and Support:
Engraving on laid paper
Gift of Jean K. Weil in memory of Adolph "Bucks" Weil, Jr.
"St. Eustace," the largest of all of Dürer’s engravings, is the artist’s first demonstration of his great mastery of the medium of printmaking. Whereas his engravings of just a few years earlier tend to be more linear with less modeling, Durer evidenced in "St. Eustace" a new skill in creating tonal values and textures. Using many closely spaced, deeply engraved lines, the artist delighted in depicting many varied surfaces, including animal fur, foliage, stone, and water. A new, silvery chiaroscuro bathes the scene. Durer now was wielding the burin as if it were a painter’s brush. His ease in using such tools undoubtedly stemmed from his early training under his father as a goldsmith. Perhaps it is not coincidental that in this first proclamation of his virtuosity in engraving, Durer’s famous monogram is also conspicuously presented for the first time. On a little tablet with a physical presence in the composition, it proudly announces the artist as the creator of the image.
See "Faith and Humanism: Engravings and Woodcuts by Albrecht Durer," exh. cat. (Montgomery: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2002), 61.