The Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels
30 cm x 21.2 cm (11 13/16 in. x 8 3/8 in.)
(Nuremberg, Germany, 1471 - 1528, Nuremberg, Germany)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1995
The artist’s choice of an imperial theme and emphasis on ornamental forms seems to betray the influence of time spent as a court artist between 1513 and 1519 to the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximillian I. The arrangement of figures has been conceived as an elegant surface pattern, rather than a three-dimensional space. The surrounding angels, from the top corners to the ground, curve like a drapery pulled back to reveal the regal Madonna. As in Dürer’s earlier woodcuts, the individual lines tend to gravitate toward the surface as they come to life with calligraphic beauty. The range of tones, however, has been restricted, tending toward a uniform gray.