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Image of The Flagellation

Albrecht Dürer
German, 1471–1528

The Flagellation

From the Large Passion, Latin edition after 1511

Object Type: Print
Creation Place: Northern Europe, German
15 3/16 in. x 10 3/4 in. (38.58 cm x 27.31 cm)
Medium and Support: Woodcut on heavy laid paper
Accession Number: 1981.0020.0002

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Jr., in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Sr.

"The Flagellation" is one of the earliest prints Durer executed for the "Large Passion" (about 1496-1497). He encountered some difficulty in depicting the crowd of people, which is divided into two levels. Some proportions are awkward: Pilate, crowned with a turban and standing in the front at left, is dwarfed by the monumental figure of Christ, who is tied to a column. The spectators on the upper left appear to be a head shorter than Christ. However, Durer’s attention to the details helps to emphasize the emotional impact of the scene. There are a wide variety of facial types and dress. Durer did not generalize the facial features and his depiction of the figures approach portraiture. A dog, staring directly out at the viewer, adjacent to the artist’s monogram, adds an element of humor to the grim narrative. The boy blowing a horn at the far right is based on Durer’s drawing after Mantegna’s "Battle of the Sea Gods". Durer’s woodblocks for the "Large Passion" enjoyed a long life after the 1511 edition, to which the Montgomery impression belongs.

See "Faith and Humanism: Engravings and Woodcuts by Albrecht Durer," exh. cat. (Montgomery: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2002), 51.

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