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DÜRER, ALBRECHT, 1471-1528.
Albrecht Dürer, Woodcut collection, circa 1509-1600

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 560

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/rnkcb

Digital Material Available in this Collection

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Dürer, Albrecht, 1471-1528.
Title: Albrecht Dürer, Woodcut collection, circa 1509-1600
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 406
Extent: 0.87 cubic feet (2 boxes)
Abstract:Consists of seven woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer.
Language: Descriptions of prints are in German

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Related Materials

Part of the Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection of Pitts Theology Library.


Purchase, 2015; gift 2018.


[after identification of item(s)], Albrecht Dürer Woodcut collection, MSS 406, Archives and Manuscript Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.


Processed by Brandon Wason, December 2015, February 2018.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Albrecht Dürer was a well-known German Renaissance artist and art theorist. He is mostly remembered for his printed art although he also produced skilled paintings and drawings. Dürer was born at Nuremberg on May 21, 1471 during the early period of the moveable type printing press. His father was a goldsmith and at a young age Albrecht learned the craft of engraving designs into objects, which prepared him for a career in print artistry. He first apprenticed with the important Nuremberg painter Michael Wolgemut (1486-89), then traveled outside Nuremberg to learn in different environements: he was at Colmar in 1491, at Basel in 1492-93, and at Strassburg in 1493-94. Dürer returned to Nuremberg in 1494. He was a popular artist in his day and interacted with other major Renaissance artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Giovanni Bellini.

Dürer made his first woodcut at age 21 in 1492 and published his famous Apocalypse in 1498. He continued to create numerous depictions of biblical scenes and in 1511 published his Large Passion along with the Life of the Virgin, the second edition of the Apocalypse, and the Small Passion. Dürer worked on the Small Passion between 1508 and 1511. It contained thirty-six woodcuts plus an additional the title page image ("Man of Sorrows"). The Small Passion was printed with four woodcuts to a sheet, on eleven half-folio sheets (Landau and Parshall, 352). The Small Passion was published as a book and designed to tell a narrative beginning with the fall in the garden and ending with the judgment of Christ. According to Dürer's diary, he sold sixteen sets of the Small Passion to a dealer named Sebald Fischer for six stuiver each; Dürer also records that six stuiver is the same price that he paid for shoes, thus they were a relatively affordable set in his day (Landau and Parshall, 352-53). Dürer's Small Passion was a very popular work and continued to be printed into the seventeenth century from the original wood blocks. Thirty-four of these original blocks are extant and reside in the British Museum.

Dürer died at Nuremberg on April 6, 1528.


Bartsch, Adam. Le Peintre-Graveur. Volume 7. Vienna: J. V. Degen, 1808.

Hollstein, F. W. H. German Engravings, Etchings and Woodcuts ca. 1400-1700, Volume 7: Albrecht and Hans Dürer. Edited by K. G. Boon and R. W. Scheller. Amsterdam: Menno Hertzberger, 1962.

Landau, David and Peter Marshall. The Renaissance Print: 1470-1550. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994.

Meder, Joseph. Dürer-Katalog: Ein Handbuch über Albrecht Dürers Stiche, Radierungen, Holzschnitte, Deren Zustände, Ausgaben und Wasserzeichen. New York: Da Capo Press, 1971.

Strauss, Walter L. Albrecht Dürer Woodcuts and Wood Blocks. New York: Abaris Books, 1980.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains five woodcuts from Dürer's Small Passion. The Small Passion originally contained thirty-six woodcuts, plus a title page. The five woodcuts in this collection feature events in the life of Christ from the Gospels: the washing of Peter's feet (John 13:1-16), the crowning of thorns (Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:17; John 19:2), the resurrection (Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-23), the meeting of the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), and the doubting Thomas episode (John 20:24-29). In the following list of prints, the German title is provided, followed by an English title, the reference numbers in Meder, Hollstein, Bartsch, and Strauss, as well as the size and date.

Two additional woodcuts were added to this collection in 2018. This includes The Crucifixion, leaf 8 from the Large Woodcut Passion (Nuremberg, 1511) and a later impression (circa 1580-1600) of The Martyrdom of Saint Catherine (Nuremberg, 1498).

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Container List

Small Passion
Box Folder Content
1 1 Die Fußwaschung (Christ Washing the Feet of the Disciples), 127 x 97 mm, circa 1511

References: Meder 134 (Ohne Text a); Hollstein 134; Bartsch 25; Strauss 110.

Note: Acquired through the generous subvention of Dr. Walker and Mrs. Nancy Ray.

1 2 Die Dornenkrönung (Christ Crowned with Thorns), 126 x 97 mm, circa 1509

References: Meder 143 (Vor dem Text); Hollstein 143; Bartsch 34; Strauss 119.

1 3 Die Auferstehung (The Resurrection), 127 x 98 mm, circa 1510-1511

References: Meder 154 (Ohne Text b); Hollstein 154; Bartsch 45; Strauss 129.

Note: Acquired through the generous subvention of Richard and Martha Kessler.

1 4 Christus in Emaus (Christ in Emmaus), 127 x 96 mm, circa 1510

References: Meder 157 (Vor dem Text); Hollstein 157; Bartsch 48; Strauss 132.

Note: Acquired through the generous subvention of Dr. Walker and Mrs. Nancy Ray.

1 5 Der ungläubige Thomas (Christ and the Doubting Thomas), 127 x 97 mm, circa 1510

References: Meder 158 (Ohne Text a); Hollstein 158; Bartsch 49; Strauss 133.

Other Prints
2 1 The Crucifixion (Large Woodcut Passion, leaf 8), 390 x 277 mm, 1511

References: Meder 120; Hollstein IV 120; Bartsch 11.

Note: Gift of Mr. Tilo and Mrs. Hofmann, Saxony.

2 2 The Martyrdom of Saint Catherine, 390 x 280 mm (plate), 1498, printed circa 1580-1600

References: Meder 2365; Hollstein IV 236; Bartsch 120.

Note: Gift of Mr. Tilo and Mrs. Hofmann, Saxony.