Man of Sorrows

Albrecht Dürer.
The Man of Sorrows.
Engraving. Nuremberg, c. 1503. (AFU6977)

This early engraving, made shortly before Dürer’s second journey to Italy in 1505-06, reflects the artist’s interest in transferring the ideals of Classical art to Christian subject matter. The print presents the Savior in the contrapposto pose utilized in ancient statuary of the Classical gods, with the weight of the body shifted to one side and the shoulders and hips turned in subtle counter-balance. Created with greater subtlety and at greater expense than a simple woodcut, this engraving would have served as a cherished devotional image of the crucified Christ, offering a focus for meditation upon his eternal suffering in a scene that is outside the time and place of the Gospel narratives.

Dürer the Engraver
Man of Sorrows