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Great Woodcuts of Albrecht Durer by Albrecht…
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Great Woodcuts of Albrecht Durer (2004)

by Albrecht Dürer

Other authors: Carol Belanger Grafton (Editor)

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I bought this book at the Seattle Art Museum after visiting their special exhibit of Graphic Masters, which included many pieces from Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528); he was most famous for his high-quality woodcut prints, having gained great success since his twenties. This Dover publication joyfully contained many pieces that were exhibited. The contents are crisp and direct – 1.5 pages of introduction and 93 prints with titles. While many are religious themed (not my thing), I still find the pages to be highly enjoyable – inconceivable details, clear delineation from people to objects, from land to sky, excellent portions, delicate birds, foliage, etc. I can trace my finger through each line and see that each line is exactly where it should be.

Some eye-catching pieces:
7) The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand Christians – Having read the title first, the art is well, brutal. Eeeew.

10) The Men’s Bath – An outdoor bath scene with castles and city wall in the background, men are chilling out, drinking beer (presumably since Dürer is German), playing music, socializing, while wearing tiny loin cloths and NOT taking a bath. I laughed.

50) The Fall – Adam and Eve are being kicked out of Paradise. Eve, shall we say, is bootylicious. Adam isn’t bad, either. Again, I laughed.

60) View of the Entire Triumphal Arch – I wish I can see all of this in detail as the few enlargements in subsequent pages are astonishing.

81) Back Part of the Imperial Car in Original Size – Beautiful carriage attended by multiple themed characters. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Triumphal_Carriage ( )
  varwenea | Aug 9, 2016 |
Durer 101

Dover has been saving the world from itself for decades. Long before the internet and e-books, it was busy resurrecting books from obscurity, reformatting them as readable, affordable editions of great societal value. Now this “Pictorial Series” of e-book allows us to see the best-ofs of major artists lost in the dusts of time and the megalopolis of new art and artists.

There is no great discovery here, no investigation, interview or controversy. There is a simple, quick biography followed by 94 plates and you’re on your own as to their quality and value. I for one have always been fascinated with woodcuts, a particular form of masochism that has the ability to astound when done well. And there are endless examples of it being done well. Durer’s ability to maintain proportion and perspective, his use of shading and depth, and his scientific appreciation of the human body are all on display here.

David Wineberg ( )
  DavidWineberg | May 21, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Albrecht Dürerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Grafton, Carol BelangerEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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A selection of plates from The complete woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer London : W. & G. Foyle, 1927
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This modestly priced edition offers an ideal introduction to D(4)(Brer's work, comprising images both sacred and secular. Scenes from the lives of Jesus and the saints and episodes from the Old Testament appear alongside a variety of subjects. The 85 black-and-white illustrations feature brief captions with basic information regarding titles and dates.… (more)

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