Out of Eden: Albrecht Durer at The Clark
Technically brilliant, visually complex, and powerful in content, the woodcuts and engravings of Albrecht Dürer have fascinated viewers for centuries. The Strange World of Albrecht Dürer, at The Clark through March 13, showcases seventy-five works culled from the museum’s extensive holdings of more than three hundred Dürer prints—one of the finest collections in North America.
Dürer (1471-1528) not only had great success as a painter and printmaker during his lifetime, but he has long been regarded as one of the greatest German artists of any period. Working at a time of enormous religious and scientific upheaval, he created compelling images that engage viewers to this day.
The exhibition is arranged thematically in five groupings—the Apocalypse, War and Suffering, Enigma, Symbolic Space, and Gender Anxiety—and includes some of Dürer’s most well-known works. Dating to 1513, the engraving Knight, Death and the Devil depicts a well-equipped knight of noble bearing on a fine horse, accompanied by the frightening aspect of death, holding aloft an hourglass and mounted on a nag, with the beastly figure of the devil following behind, all against a craggy and forbidding landscape.
Dürer’s 1504 engraving, Adam and Eve, places the first couple deep in a forest, surrounded by animals: an elk, bull, mouse, parrot, and, of course, the serpent, eating the apple right out of Eve’s hand. The fifteen prints in Dürer’s Apocalypse series, first published in book form in 1498, draw upon the New Testament Book of Revelation, and portray angels, demons, monsters, and saints. An original bound copy, on loan from the Chapin Library at Williams College, is included in the exhibition.
Dürer was a brilliant and meticulous draftsman, able to draw humans and animals, architecture and furnishings, and foliage and landscapes, all with extraordinary detail. To aid museumgoers in their enjoyment of the works, hand-held magnifying glasses are available in the galleries. [FEB/MAR 2011]
The Strange World of Albrecht Dürer
Through Mar 13
Looking at Lunchtime Gallery Talk:
Dürer’s World of Signs and Wonders
Feb 10 at 12:30
Free talk with Michael Cassin, director of the Center for Education in the Visual Arts
Dürer: Between Past
Feb 17 at 5:30
A conversation between Susan M. Dackerman and Keith Moxey
The Art of Melancholy
Feb 24 at 5:30
Free lecture by
Michael Ann Holly
Mar 6 at noon
Free events including castle building, block printing, and a gallery talk with exhibition curator Jay A. Clarke