Welcome to Platemark, a podcast about art, ideas, prints, and printmaking
Oct. 26, 2021

s2e4 History of Prints Albrecht Dürer (part two)

s2e4 History of Prints Albrecht Dürer (part two)

Part two on Dürer, he who changed everything

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
YouTube Channel podcast player badge
Stitcher podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Castro podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge

In s2e4, co-hosts Ann Shafer and Tru Ludwig finish talking about Albrecht Dürer. He had a remarkable career, and changed the perception and reception of prints in Europe at the beginning of the 16th century.

Platemark is produced by Ann Shafer
Series one co-host: Ben Levy
Series two co-host: Tru Ludwig
Theme music: 
Michael Diamond
Audio mixing and troubleshooting: Dan Fury, Extension Audio


Ann Shafer: Welcome to Platemark series two the History of Western Printmaking. My name is Ann Shafer and I'm your host. I'm here with Tru Ludwig. Say hi.


Tru Ludwig: Hello.


AS: This one is part two of Dürer. We’ll have to do the positionality thing. I identify as a cis-het white woman and I use pronouns she/her


TL: And I am a trans white gay person who uses the pronouns he/him.


AS: We are recording this at the Purple Crayon Press, which is a new press in Tru's house. Which is in Charles Village in Baltimore


TL: Where Ann has learned how to print.


AS: I know it's super exciting. You know, when you're a curator, you don't have to have ever done that thing. So lately I've been learning how to get my hands dirty. It's been super fun


TL: She's done a really good job.


AS: Thanks. We're in Baltimore, Maryland, as I said, the land at the Piscataway Conoy people. Before we hit Dürer, I wanted to send a shout out to the National Gallery and my former colleague Rena Hoisington, who is the curator of old master prints, who has a show coming up starting October 24th, which is called Aquatint from its Origins to Goya. Tru played a special part in the exhibition.


TL: I somehow was remembered by Rena because she had to overhear me doing History of Prints lectures.


AS: You're unforgettable, Tru.


TL: Actually, Rena had me help her with some prints for an exhibition she did back in 2012. But for this one, Rena wanted to learn how to aquatint because as a curator, she hadn't done it. She has now literally written the book on aquatint. She contracted me to come down for a series of visits to look at English, French, Spanish, Italian aquatints, and explain what I'm seeing in the process, but then also to teach her and Michelle Facini, the senior paper conservator, how to do the process. So up here at the Purple Crayon, they learned how to create aquatint plates from… Well, I did all the beveling and preparing the plates, but we made many test plates so that they could learn about the various ways that you can manipulate light and shadow, in terms of burnishing, in terms of time biting, in terms of how many granules of and what size of rosin could be sprinkled onto the plate and then melted to the plate, and how long had to bite in the acid. And then I taught them how to print them. We did time-biting test scales. Then they decided to do a small outtake of a larger print by Labruzzi, which is a lovely aquatint. I did a blow up of that and ended up scribing and etching and biting and printed them with Rena and Michelle. And so the whole step-by-step process will be shown in a display case in the exhibition itself. So that was pretty neat. But it also required that I scribe and bite ten of the same four by six inch plates. Time-consuming but a labor of love and ultimately to see it there... And it's really an incredibly clear, step-by-step articulation of this process, which is otherwise pretty hard to understand. But it's also amazing what it accomplishes in terms of adding atmospheric effects to prints.


AS: It’s glorious.


TL: You know, Goya wouldn’t be Goya without aquatint, while Rembrandt could do what he does purely with line. All of the folks that came after using aquatint could accomplish so many more things. And it's still used today by artists like Brice Marden. Crown Point Press is the exemplar of how to do such things. But just like the home cookery of how some of these printmaking processes started. we did this right here in my home and the press is in the dining room. We used mortar and pestle and we used a heating plate or a griddle. And we used kinds of battlefield materials that artists of the time would have used to create this process. And so, should you happen to go to the exhibition, or should you view it online, you will find a 36 x 40 inch display case with all kinds of loveliness in it. And I actually made those things.


AS: The show is on from October 24th through February 21st, 2022. And the works on paper galleries are in the west building on the ground floor in the inner tier.


TL: And one other thing to keep in mind was that this whole thing managed to go on as the pandemic ramped up and then it occurred. And then we were working in masks and had to make a pact that we were going to work in pods and do all of this. And so now the fact that it's actually on the walls and in the case after all of this pandemic nonsense is nothing short of a miracle. And so is aquatint, but I think that's why we continue to work on it so hard.


AS: Congratulations to Rena and Michelle and you. I can't wait to see it.


TL: Yeah, me too.


AS: Honestly, the best part of this is that I'll be able to go see it with you.


TL: Yeah. I was going to say, and then can we do what we do after we go to exhibitions, wink, wink, wink, wink, wink…


AS: Which is go for a drink somewhere?


TL: It is Ann who introduced me to the wonders of martinis.


AS: It's true. It's my fault. I was introduced to martinis by Susan Dackerman and Helen Molesworth. So, so there's a whole, there's a lineage here.


TL: We have to keep this up and nobody makes a filthy martini the way I like it better than Ann. Maybe that's TMI, but you should know these things. It's like finding the perfect aquatint, the proper mixture of the proper twists of lemon or the twist of the scribe, then you've got the best thing ever.


AS: All right. So let's take a micro break. And when we come back, we'll start in on Dürer part two.


AS: Welcome back. We are going to start in on Dürer part two. If you didn't listen to the first part, you probably should go back and take a listen because it covers the early part of his life.


TL: It does. It does show a break actually, if one thinks about it, because Albrecht was born in 1471 and died in 1528. So in one respect, we can think about how he sits on this absolute bevel, the fulcrum between the medieval and the Renaissance in the north. If we start realizing how much he managed to innovate coming out of the medieval ways and practices of artists and printmakers, and then turn a corner and inaugurate an entirely different way of how images could work towards educating his audience and its spreading ideas and really showcasing the artist’s amazing skill, it’s quite phenomenal. I try to tell my students oftentimes that if you think that in the Renaissance it's purported the average lifespan was 40 years. Well, Dürer lived a little bit longer than that. He got to be maybe 56. And so last time we stopped with a magnificent print called Nemesis (The Great Fortune). It starts to show how he's blending the north and the south. We'd also talked just before we concluded that episode about the marvelous Fall of Man, the Adam and Eve print, which shows Adam and Eve standing full frontal with a birch tree between them that a serpent is wrapped around with this magical black forest behind them, which is tremendously Germanic, even though the figure of Adam looks like Apollo Belvedere. And then the pose of Eve looks just like the Medici Venus, both of which come from ancient Greco-Roman traditions.


AS: Sampling, it’s like hip-hop sampling.


TL: It totally is. And yet it also contains elements from medieval alchemy with these four animals that represent the four humors and Albrecht Dürer’s ability to interweave the new and the old and the kinds of ideas that he was picking up from the Humanists are all completely coming together in this one magical print, which I guess we could call six by eight inches. When we start thinking about where he is in his career, we're going to pick up now when he hits 40. And he's managed to make a great name for himself. The Nemesis is from 1505, and then he disappears for a while. Well, what was he doing? He was going to Italy again. And he was in Italy from 1505 to 1507. And it's interesting to realize he'd already been there once from 1494 to 1495.


AS: We figured it takes six months to walk there, he’s there for a year, and a six months to walk back.


TL: Yeah. I show my students a map and I give them a scale of miles and it's 300 miles just to, if you could walk in a straight line, from Nuremberg to, let's say Venice, it's in a straight line. That doesn't count for Alps and roads. And you can't be a crow flying. You have to be a human, who is starting to really notice the universe around you, the micro in the macro cosmos, and even noticing how the foliage, the vegetation, the animals, the culture of the people. They're morphotypes change as you move over this huge land divide. And imagine going from Nuremberg in what is now Germany to Venice at the top of the Adriatic sea. And you think about how that's the absolute crossroads of where the silk road goes through. And you've got every possible kind of humanity from across the globe that can meet there in Venice. Dürer knows… He already knows about Bellini, who is one of the chief painters there. And he just needs to go see that. Now, one of the things that he already is aware of, after having come back from his first trip, is just how differently Italy views its artists. And I want to remind our listeners that he was a painter as well as a printmaker. Although we remember him really for his prints, he was a painter, he was an aces painter. And you just want to look at his self-portraits and you'd melt. He knew how to do that, but he also realized he could make a lot more money with his prints. And because those of course you can spread far and wide and a painting can only usually be in one place in someone's private collection. But I wanted to bring to mind… I found this quote in which Dürer said in a letter to his friend Willibald Pirckheimer, who was a leading Humanist of the day. I mean, incredibly important to the history of how things changed from the former times to post-Reformation. In Italy, he says, “here I am a gentleman, at home I am a parasite.” Because you've got that concept of the Renaissance idea of genius by this time in Italy. 1505; you got the ninja turtles, right? Donatello is a guy from the prior century, but Michelangelo has high form. He's just finished the ceiling. Rafael is stealing peeks at the ceiling and working on his Stanza della Signatura. And Leonardo is doing whatever the hell Leonardo wants because he's already done Mona Lisa and he's doing this and that and the other thing. That's the cult of genius. In Italy, they respect that incredible life-ability, that's the muse, that was a gift, the gift that was either given to them by God or given to them by these outside forces. Because genius was actually regarded as a person, more than a person being a genius. You were blessed with a genius, the genius of the dance or the genius of… And, it was not just a birthright. It's also imperative that they make use of those skills. And so when you think about him coming back over the Alps and saying, “here I am a parasite,” because you're just another workman now. So you've risen through the guild system. You're an apprentice to your dad. And then you got sent over to your uncle Anton Koberger’s shop working with the printmakers there. And you are still part of a guild, which is a group of workermen. So you go from being an apprentice, then you do your wanderjahre, or some would call it your gap year, but it's your journeymen period. And then you do your masterpiece and you're admitted to a guild, but even so it's not the same. That's a medieval concept as opposed to this creative genius of an artist in Italy.


AS: It's so fascinating that the same time period in the same continent divided by the Alps, that these two different ideas of what that is could be so different.


TL: Well, let's talk about New York and Texas after this past week in the news, and think about how wildly divergent ideas of what human rights can be or what is law and what you can do to the law to make it do what you want it to do. And it could be that that's what, not picking fights here, but that could be what the Church was even doing with how it was being administered in Italy. Through the Roman Catholic church, you get the Pope and the cardinals, and then all the way down through the system. In the north, it's the same thing, except they're so far flung afield, they've got these priests, but they're not getting the same attention. And so it doesn't surprise me that a guy like Luther will eventually get fed up with the system and say, this is what needs to happen. So that all citizens have an equal right to this gift of grace from God, as opposed to needing this whole structure, this whole scaffolding of the Catholic Church. And, you know, all of that was brewing at exactly the same time that Dürer was doing what he's doing. In many respects, Reformation would not have existed without printmaking or without the Renaissance. It's that spreading of ideas. So I thought maybe what we could do is pick up with Albrecht coming back up to Nuremberg and starting what he's doing. Oh, by the way, he had managed to start his own print shop. And, you know, I read recently that he was only able to do that if he was married.


AS: What?! Come on. The rules, my God.


TL: I know. We'll go to Texas, honey. Just think Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Okay. Because those wives, anyway… There's a whole thing about how he actually didn't really enjoy his wife one iota and the minute…


AS: He wasn't gay, right?


TL: Well, I've recently ran—and this is never in anything I read when I was coming up—was that maybe he was bisexual. But you know, maybe he didn't enjoy his wife at all, but the fact was that he married her and then instantly went to Italy the first time and he was away for a year. He comes back and he writes to Pirckheimer about what old crow she is.


AS: Oh, wow. Children?


TL: Oh, you know, they did all that. And they had a very fine house and she ended up being his business agent because she's one of the people that would pack his prints in barrels to ship them.


But, she's also married to the guy that has one of the nicest houses in Nuremberg by 1511. So it worked out. As most marriages probably do.


AS: Partnership, right?


TL: Partnership, indeed. You know, it's not our concept of marriage. These days can't even be remotely the same. And sometimes—I'm sorry, sidebar—I wonder if maybe the arranged marriages of India last longer because they’re partnerships. They’re business relationships as opposed to, “it's about luv.” Because he was a businessman and we can tell that not just because he was a great painter, but because the world knows him because he was a savvy dude.


And so here, we're going to start about 1511. And in the space of two years, let's say when he's hit 40 years old, by 1511, in the next two years, he essentially publishes five different things. He does a re-publishing, a re-edition of The Apocalypse. Because, well, the world didn't end in 1500 and we discussed that last time.


AS: Would they would have recreated the woodblocks?


TL: Some are still floating around. No, it was just a second edition. And they're his blocks. There's still a debate about whether or not he cut them. Which is annoying to me. But in one respect, no matter what he was the reiser, he designed them. Perhaps he glued the drawings to the blocks and handed them off to formcutters. But he also had to know what the wood could or could not do. You can't know that unless you do it, there's no way you can know that. I say this as a woodcutter, myself, telling you this. And nobody took the art of woodcut further than Dürer. There's only so much a piece of wood can do, but he seemed to understand how to make that happen. So if they were carved by someone else, it was still tremendously consistent and it's all his design. So I wanted to keep that in mind. But at the same time he had come up with another group of prints. It's the woodcut passion, the large woodcut Passion. The BMA has privileged to have all of them, but we have the Ecce Homo. We have it as printed and then as hand colored. Because that was part of Susan Dackerman's Painted Prints show. I still think that Dürer probably would have chewed his molars off thinking about somebody painting his woodcuts, which graphically could stand on their own because he manages to create that middle gray tone, as Panofsky says. He manages to create gray when all you have is black and white with a relief print. However, we would show the students part of this woodcut Passion, and the plates themselves are probably 12 x 14, 11 x 14, something like that. They're really marvelous and excellent and even more easily read than the than the ones from The Apocalypse. There's a little bit more design and order to them. It’s 11 woodcut plates, the scenes... It's interesting how he has come to realize that using a cycle as in serial imagery is phenomenally useful, and that's something that the print can do so readily. It has its title page and it's probably letterpress text. But the images read so clearly, and you can really understand how Christ from the moment he enters Jerusalem to where he's carrying the cross to where he's crucified at Golgotha at the place of the skull.


He has become ever more like a film director and understanding how to create these scenes. It's not just some plain old, rigid verticals and horizontals. But if you, you can start to realize that there are way more diagonals in the way that the scenes are composed. Part of my mind thinks that's a trait he might've picked up in Venice. If you think about Titian and many of those other, especially Titian.


AS: Composition.


TL: Yeah. Compositionally, it's far more radical and racy than it would have been up north. They use a lot of diagonals to add sweeping and emphasis to their compositions. But the large woodcut Passion, these 11 large plates in black and white, would still have these little genre elements. Like the one that Ann and I are looking at right now is Christ Falling as he's carrying the cross and he's right outside the castle gates. Right. This is a Dürer thing.


AS: This could be a city wall, the city wall.


TL: Yeah. With a portcullis that could come down, which I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been back in biblical times. And the marvelous foliage that is around his feet. But also mountains in the distance and a tree. He always does this beautiful thing with a little scattering of birds and just those tiny little things. Or the glave, this combination of a spear and axe.


AS: A glave?


TL: A glave.


AS: Because when you said glave, I went straight to The Princess Bride. And also when you said the portcullis.


TL: This is totally Princess Bride stuff. Think about it. The man in black goes up the rope.


AS: But the other thing about narrative, I mean, narrative was not anything new, but surely he would have… Is it Schongauer, the Christ Carrying the Cross, that has the vignettes that are happening simultaneously.


TL: Yeah. Like three vignettes within one large horizontal frame, which is interesting because it is a scroll in a way of watching Christ on his path. It’s one large horizontal, very large for a copper plate, it's insanely big, but it shows Christ's assembling, carrying the cross while the holy family is watching this happen in tears, and then the place where he's going to basically arrive where the cross will be planted and he'll be crucified. So you can see these different stages in the story. Dürer really does give you this, almost a film frame. I think he divides things up into serial imagery. I think at first glimpse they're so eminently readable, but if we get into things like the three Meister prints of 1513–14, it's so laden. That's TV for hours and hours and hours. Nevertheless, the large woodcut Passion has contemporary people wearing those kinds of medieval tights and the stuff you'd see at the Renaissance festival. And poor Christ with his crown of thorns, just haggard and having fallen to his knees. But you can tell that this would address a certain audience who could afford a large woodcut Passion because in the same year he presents his small woodcut Passion, smaller plates. I would say they are maybe 5 x 7, 4 x 6, much smaller, which of course only allows… It forces you to contract what you will show in the same scene. Does it make it more affordable where there were 37 plates in that particular series cycle? That's another take on it.


So imagine this so for different audience. Absolutely. Absolutely. So I'm thinking the large ones for scale, you know, those would be something you could actually put up on the wall at home, should you wish, or, you know, if it's like the small one or the small woodcut passion that could be in your constant calmer, you know, you'd have your little print collection, you could take that out and share it with people you can have and not just share as an Ooh, isn't that?


Cool. Look, there's a dog, but as in re re. Interpreting or re vibing the text, because the whole point was that, you know, your was a very devout human being. There's he, he was a God-fearing soul. He was illustrating or putting these stories to the world, not just because he was like, Hey, here's some cool stuff.


And I know it's going to sell well, but because he had, he was a man of faith. Uh, and, and it, it is well-documented in his belief, in the higher powers and how he was telling the story. And so, you know, when we think about that, those kinds of things, if you look at how he humanizes the, the passion, for instance, in the same year, he also puts out his engraved passion, which is 16.


So that's all about carving slash, right? And so one would say that certainly by this time, maybe he carved the apocalypse himself, but I, I w logic would dictate that he had, in those years that he had come back from Italy, that he had designed these things he managed to get, you know, maybe he'd farmed out the large plates to, uh, and there were literally, there were would cup would cut or form Schneider firms now.


And, and, you know, and that's, but those were, he didn't have his own workshop. I can't tell you that. And I'm sure that a resilient artist, I can't tell you that, but I'm sure that with all of the ink that's been spilled over him, these hundreds of years, that somebody would have a thought about that, but don't forget.


He's also part of in Congo burgers, you know, he still has God's son and he's still got access to the rest over there. Yeah. Voldemort's workshop. So, but that also tells you that the wood cut artists had to have come up quite a few. Because the nature of the work that he himself had created in that whole doorway that he'd opened.


So you got a large wood cut passion for people who could have widescreen TVs. You've got a small one for people who could be reading it, maybe on their iPad, or, you know, the size of literally the aggrieved passion is the size of your cell phone. Right. Really, no bigger than that. And you could scroll through that whole story as though you would be, you know, they're 16 plates from the aggrieved passion and they're exquisite.


And then remembering that engraving and woodcut have completely different characters and engraving allows itself to have so much more tone. And, uh, being able to have these lines that have been sized and carved into the plate. There's no way anybody, but you're engraved these plates. There's no way it's his mark.


Well, the I don't know a lot about her, so don't hold me to this, but 37. Blocks carved by people who do that professionally versus 16. It makes sense that he would do far fewer plates. Yeah. But even, even so the 16 plates, that's quite a number of lot. And the other thing that's interesting is that they've been able to parse out that some of the bigger Henry hitting parts of the passion, like the crucifixion he had done much earlier, you know, you do some of that, like the five biggies, and then you can infill with the other things.


So the crucifixion what Anna's seeing is I've got my PowerPoint open and what you can see is the crucifixion, which was done many years earlier, maybe as many as 10 years earlier. And then one of the later ones where he's carrying across and it describe for me how you see this carrying on the cross, if you can, sorry about that squeak.


Um, but if you think about him carrying the cross and how in each of these. Juror has given a different kind of presence, you know, in a small woodcut passion, he's out of the crisis, totally fallen on his knees and he's cowering. And it looks like the whole world is going to beat him up and here in the engraved passion for people who could afford it cravings, which was for a much higher class of higher educated clientele.


Look how Christ is carrying the cross. Well, it's, it feels more like, well, of course he's in pain cause he's carrying this cross and he's got the crown of thorns on his head that he's it's almost like he's already transitioned into kind of, you know, the Messiah that he was born to be that he's almost out of body and allowing the people along the road to kind of touch him to get comfort or.


Yeah. He's far more elegant. He's upright. He's not cowering, right? He's like, yes, he's suffering, but he's doing so. Yeah. I mean, it is a really dignified, there's some torment on his face, but he's literally standing up while the rest of the world is like, you know, it's like a scene where the villagers are coming with their gloves and their Spears and their scabies and their axes.


And they're all ganging up around him. And yet he's at this beautiful X marks, the spot in the center of a plate while all the grizzled people are around almost in a halo of, of stupidity around. Yeah. And the other thing about the comparison, the crucifixion scene from earlier is, I mean, that may be a lesser impression.


I think it's later. Yeah. Meaning that the inking doesn't carry as well in the lines, but the plate made have already degraded a bit more, but it's still, it's less, it feels less detailed. There's less a range of light dark there's. And he hasn't, he hadn't totally hit it yet, but it's great. It's already, it's already juror, but it's not, it almost looks like beside Dürer as opposed to AC Durham, you know?


And, and the other thing that I think is fascinating is if you look at the figure of St. John in the crucifixion from the engraved passion, he's, he's wringing his hands on the, on the right-hand side. And honestly, that's a pose that he had studied in a Montonya print and it's, so he's kind of taken that pose and lifted it wholesale and rotated it just a little bit towards us.


So he's still blending these interesting traditions, although the physical nature of Christ. In terms of the anatomy it's very well realized. It's not, it doesn't look Northern Renaissance, it looks factual. And in that way, we would say it looks more Italian eight because if it was a Northern rent and being far more tortured and it wouldn't be quite as proportionally, well, he still has that important to look at is the cloth that floats back behind them.


That is so Northern rant. Isn't it interesting because there's this very proportionate figure with sinews muscles that are all completely readable hanging from the cross. And yet the, the F the drapery from his loincloth is, has literally flipped around and flying behind him, which becomes part drapery and part activator of the scene and filler of that, that space.


Cause it would be, if it was just all horizontal lines, it wouldn't have that, but it's almost as though it's like fabric. If you think about, you know, angels would fill those spaces, but he's not including those because that would clutter this concept, this, when the, cause it needed to be dark, you know, when Christ dies on the cross, the earth, it was, it was in the height of the afternoon, but the earth becomes as dark as night.


Well, he's, he reads those things, but here, you know, uh, and when we look at the carrying on the cross, it's just so dark and it's just like the darkest moments of humanity, you know? And so I think I keep seeing him taking things deeper and figuring them out more and more and more. So, uh, the woodcut passions for different audiences, the engraved passions were much different audience that couldn't afford engraved plates because printing those is far more time consuming and they know they're going to put them in their container.


Don't well, we showed these to the students. How many do you recall? We had a fair number of these in the. Oh, gosh, I think we had, I think we had the virtually all of that collector would only have exactly. I think, remember we had of the outdoor four, we had 38 of the 40. Oh, that was irritating. Yes, indeed.


And then you fixed the one we get to hold, see us. I'll give you that an transparent, however, it's just realizing that it's, it's almost like you have to get them all. And I would imagine that, of course he sold them separately because the crucifixion, he was already selling that, but the engraved passion as a whole, he put them all together, put them on a, on a, you know, the compilation album and, and there you have it.


Of course I'm still thinking and LP and everybody else has an epi all the hell. That means. Another one that he printed in the, the same year, uh, you know, that he was putting out these other ones. It's the life of the Virgin, another series. And it's 19 would cut plates with poems. Now I want for you to just sort of text describe if you would the title page.


Yep. That's fine. Paige has so large, small cap text across the top in the center. There's a Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus sitting on like a Crescent moon sort of thing, and some pillows and lovely Northern drapery. And then below, I assume that. Text of the poem. It is. Yeah. Now it's a great looking title page.


And again, this would have probably been a set of prints sold, separate, you know, sold loose leaf, not bound, but, but the weird thing is like, I can't even find the title. Well, I have news for you first. I want you to look at that title and I'm going to go back to, oh, look at the title on this small woodcut passion, or even on the, on the large wicked passion.


And it looks like frack tour, right? The Northern Germanic hand, lettered by monks kind of difficult to read beer, gotten kind of letters. Look at the print. The font. Yes, it is Roman. Why isn't that a towel? Well, yes, like times new Roman, that's the same style of lettering as a style lettering that you would see on monuments.


Exactly. And below it's not in front of you in the small caps. Yes. And even in the front tour, it's more in a, in a Roman font, upper and lower case. It's, doesn't look like it's handwritten with a pen. And so in this particular cycle, I think it's fascinating because it's the life of the Virgin, which is completely apocryphal, but meaning it was not, you know, they'd take a little squibs out of the Bible, but they've concocted this life of the.


Outside of the Bible, because I know who was they? They, the marks, they, the eye and looks so righteously addicted. And for what purpose to righteous living or, yeah. Well, think about this actually, it's a really, it's wonderful for us to be able to be annoyed about this now. But if you think about, if we were to look at the history of our history and about how when, when the Christians were managed to come out of the catacombs and were allowed to practice their faith after Constantine had said, sure, okay, I'm a Christian.


You guys can have your faith. And it's probably going to help the Roman empire not fall apart for another several years. Uh, then Christianity rises and, and at the time Christ is this kind of loving young beardless, good shepherd. He's a loving kind young. And through the course of the next 700 years, like, let's think about the church domes of 15 of 1100 by then he has become this bundled crocker.


And he's this large Gar and he's in a 23 foot across thing with his Blauer and face in this beard. And he's terrifying any effect guy you would see at the left. He's really fricking terrifying. And it's interesting to me to see how the church has taken this kind loving good shepherd in the year. Let's say 400 and then taking him to this wrathful vengeful guide that fuck you.


Some years later, and then there's this warming in the 12th and the 13th century. And there's this new interest in the Virgin, Mary it's, this whole Marion thing. And it's like, oh, and there's more attention paid to her as the kind loving mother of Christ, humanizing him, him and her because she's relatable and people could intercede to have her intercede on their behalf to Christ.


So even if you look at medieval church for sides, you'll see that she and Saint J the B John, the Baptist are sitting on either side of him up there on the big throne at the final judgment. It's like, okay, That's pecking orders come back and you're the little bitty guy in the middle and there's some angels.


And then up there as Mary and St. John the Baptist, and they could say so Christ and has been pretty good. And Anne was good enough to share great martinis with true for 10, 12, 15 years. And I really think that we can forgive some of Ann's other sins and let Anne to having a Creswell. This concept of the Marion image became very popular.


And as you say, it was, uh, becoming more and more of a way to help train young ladies in how they can comport themselves, even in Florence, the tremendous sidebar, but even influence. If you watch the humanizing of the Virgin by the midst, mid 14 hundreds, they started putting up terracottas the Luca Delarobia.


The Delarobia brothers were putting on these beautiful terracotta roundels of the Virgin, Mary, very blonde with a very blonde, very true Rubik, baby Jesus on our lap, that would smile at you down from the corners of various buildings of Florence, which were away for young ladies to go. Ah, yes, I need to aspire to be that it's I S I'm going to fucking burn hell and die.


Oh my God. I'll be Rent-A-Center by demons. Yeah. Oh, I can aspire to this. It's the fucking patriarchy. Well, duh, I know while they exist, right. They'll pick up that. No, you're not. You should leave the ER, because I just thank you, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, right. Does see how cyclical, right. We have to get all that.


And thank you. Amazon's not Amazon the company, but the women Amazonians. Yes. Now back to the concept of this life of the Virgin, 15, 11 it's, 19 woodcut plates with poems, but the poems, again, aren't necessarily with the images and I wanted to share something humorous with you. Well, first it is that the actual title, which you can see all a little bit here, but it had gotten here, but it happened here in Roman lettering, actually reads excerpts from the story of holy Virgin, Mary presented in pictures by Albrecht Dürer with verses by shell.


Michelle Antonius oh, he's a monk who came up with these poems. But the whole point here is that it's a story and pictures that have been nerves above the title above the text. Again, like I see a full circle. I see the Bible, you know, that the apocalypse of our key yes. Is on the back and the podcast is on the back of the sheep.


And the Virgin story is on the face. Well, think about this. I'm showing, uh, a picture of this life of the Virgin, and here's an opportunity where you can see him blending north itself in a phenomenal way, but come through this particular seat, just, is this the death? I think, no, it's just, just walking through the scene.


All right. Um, okay. So we're in an interior and the Virgin is cradling the baby. Jesus. She maybe she's just had it. Yeah. She's just had him in there tending her. So she's in bed. Wait a minute. She's in a bed, a bed with curtains on it with the little draperies tassels, sort of like this really beautiful Renaissance kind of interior.


Yeah. It's bizarre. Well there's no, no. That's how you have babies in 15, 11. Keep going. I'm so what else do you see? Well, let's see. Um, let's see, is that the same mic? Oh, down in the corner there. Okay. There's lots of attending women and they're all washing the baby and cleaning them up and then they're going to prison and back and up above.


Yes. There's an angel hovering above the pie, crust clouds. This is a holy birth, but if you covered up that ain't. And you just looked at what's below genre. It's absolutely a woman having a baby at home in bed with her family, attending them and all the ladies going, oh, look at his little toes. Aren't they?


So cute. Cause look how incredibly real and ordinary this would have seen there. And they're fully clad of them now and there a lot. Well, a lot of women, well, I, maybe it was a big deal maybe, but what else do you see about the room that this ban isn't right. It's bizarre because there's a stairwell in the back.


Their bedroom has a stairwell in it. Well, okay. So we've got a stairwell, you've got a fireplace fireplace, you've got a window leading out to the outside world. You've got a wall that comes in at a six. Oh my goodness. Yeah. And so he's taken you with all of those angles of the, of the fireplace hard fem or table.


And he's zoomed us back into the middle background, which is where the bed is. Right. And, and he's given you linear perspective, which he learned in Italy and he's learning picture construction. He's showing that, which he learned in Italy and you notice the geometries that he's using in that. And yet he still has that wonderful kind of Northern Renaissance pie cross cloud with the, with the angel above.


So that it's showing that this sacred moment is as is happening here on earth. Italy genre reference this fast. And I mean, it's pretty reformation, but it is, but it is totally humanized this whole story of the Virgin Mary. And it is so it's really quite endearing. When you think about it, you know, he's, he's taken this to a point where anybody could really be enjoying the cycle of images and their little poems by the monks shell Donius, which happened to be a really an Intuit.


He re he composed these scenes based on those poems.  it’s also fascinating to see how at times, you know, like with the apocalypse, he would have extrapolated from the biblical text or compress things, but this is pretty literally literal straight ahead scene by scene, by scene, by scene of this life of the Virgin was shell shell shell.


Was he contemporary? I think he was slightly. Um, but yeah, I think slightly earlier, but not terribly much. Right. Um, and the other thing I wanted to point out to people about this one, because again, I think about artists and their people, they're not just these masters and relating it to this concept of mastery.


Tell me about that point of view that we have in the scene. You mean that we're sort of up in, uh, up in almost no, but, uh, raised, uh, raised view and we're able to like, we're an angel looking down on them or looking at yes or we've broken through a window, above the room to see them. And in other scenes from the cycle, he takes us, he has different ways of healing up and into the room or over into the room.


And what he's doing, I finally realized he's creating a series of images with new points of view, like Orson Wells did in citizens. Orson Welles was the first one to complete, fully formed sets with ceilings and floors and, and to create an entire space for his actors to live in and would break that fourth wall and, and would take us downloads long, long, long, long vistas.


And that's one of the things that juror is starting to do here is with these, if you go through the whole cycle, you start to realize that very filmic and nobody of course knows what film is in 1511. Well, right. So where would he have even come up with? Well pointing to head, this is the stuff that he's putting together from north and south, you know, and, and even as a genius.


Yes he is. And the thing is, you know, that they don't really, we don't really take into account really how very well-read he must've been well, right. It was a human, I think people, he was friends with Berkheimer. He was reading a restless, he was new, all of these things. And he's gobbling up weights that we don't quite realize until you think about the books that he published late in his life, that he understands geometry, which is.


One of the most essential things that an artist can know, which of course Mike, as students go, I don't like math. It's scary, but you can have of course, cause you can see it. He understood Italian mathematicians. He, he would take notice of who you put in geometry are the platonic solids. He had this vast array of knowledge.


That goes way deeper than I think any of us really, really realize until you look through those later books, they're all coming together in this filmic array of images, which as you can now understand, would be so popular because they make the story of the life, the birth of Jesus, that in the whole story of the Virgin Mary, as a human being and up to her death, something so believable, so real, so contemporary.


So now that it was astonishing to people and it was incredibly well. Now Dürer had been working on this cycle for awhile. And some of those plates that actually managed to make are some of the prints that actually managed to make their way down into Venice, Ellie. Yeah. Wow. Uh, so much so that my 1506, there was an engraver in Venice named mark Antonio Raimondo, who would eventually become quite a big deal who saw them and thought they were really, really cool.


And he made copies of them and he engraved copies of them and he put D so interesting. Cause they're their winter other engravings? Not there yet. No. He made engravings after woodcuts for the book. That's right. Yeah. But yeah, yeah. Right. Yeah. And they complete with the Albert, your monogram and he's selling them, selling them, selling them.


And when juror gets down there in 50 OCCS and he realizes that he's being filled. He's his, and he takes his case to the Venetian Senate and the Venetian sentence, like, well, you know, uh, these are okay. Yeah. So Marsilio, excuse me. So mark Antonio, Raimondi mark Antonio Ramondo you can continue to make these, uh, engraved impressions, but you can't put a D on them anymore, which is sort of not really fair right.


To our way of thinking, because, but if he doesn't put a D on them, then you know, he's not right. So I wanted to share with you, I guess I now would be a good time to share with you this other cool thing. The fact that sometimes I share, and sometimes I don't eventually actually the very next year he becomes the, uh, he's the court artist for Maximillian the first and one of the third.


Next million is emperor is the holy Roman emperor up in, in Germany. Landish ah, And, and you'll find before we complete this episode, I hope that your has become a very important pro uh, what's the word propagandist for Maximillian. However, uh, dear his next step was to attain the very first copyright in a special grant from emperor Maximilian.


He proclaimed his new ride in the 15, 11 life of the Virgin. I remember he had taken this guy to court in 1506 for stealing some of his images. So in the same printed thing with that long title saying, this are all prints by Albert. Um, I'm reading a quotation note. It says, hold you crafty ones, strangers to work and pill firs of other men's brains.


Think not rashly to lay your thieving hands upon my works. Be aware. No, no you, not that I have a great grant from the most glorious emperor Maximilian that not one throughout the Imperial dominion shall be allowed to print or sell fictitious imitations of these engravings. Listen, and bear in mind that if you do so through spikes or through covetousness, not only will your, your goods be confiscated, but your body's also placed in mortal danger.


He printed this somewhere in a newspaper. You print it with this out with it. Like don't steal my shit. Oh my God. You're in mortal danger. If you do. I, you know, I think that's pretty much it. More power to him. But you know, if I imagined going someplace, places, seeing somebody stealing all your good stuff and then saying, Hey, look, I made these engravings on this life of the Virgin.


Aren't I a smarty he's just taken the wholesale jurors ideas, his meetings, his viewpoints. Yes, indeed. So that's just the life of the Virgin. So nice. Yeah. Oh, and one other thing about the death scene from the life of the Virgin from this there's this dude in the 17th century that also owned, did yours, little Rembrandt dude, his death of the Virgin that he puts out in 1639.


He gets that composition from all right. Pretty cool. Right. And it's good. It's kind of a big line. Okay. Like if you're going to, you know, go ahead and own one thing from the early part of. I, I don't know how you could not have a dirt. Well, that was Ben and I were discussing that earlier this all right.


And you, you committed? I said, I would go for the book changed John devouring, the book, but Hey man, I would go for a toenail with was scarf. Seriously. I don't care. I mean, there just has to be a little piece of juror in this house, along with my MBA and my Goya and my best. Right? Yeah. So we, we were talking about in the last episode, Dürer part one about which of the apocalypse we would want to own if we could, but also recognizing how much money they're now bringing the M four horsemen of the apocalypse.


What went for $800,000 or something at auction in 2013. But if you, you will come across lesser known DERs and Rembrandts and all sorts of things, that will be well within your range, probably. But now we have to get to the big three, that three of these are the best, the master engravings, if you're never did any, any, anything else.


It's these three engravings that he does in 15, 13, 15, 14. Uh, and they're all essentially the same size and they could be read together, but they can certainly stand alone. Um, they're very different in appearance and uh, rather than me, but they make so much sense as a oh yeah, they do. And, but here's the other thing, because there are so rich and content, each of them, it's not just the subject matter of a guy on a horse or a guy sitting in a room with writing in a book or some grumpy lady sitting there looking in the middle of distance with all sorts of cool stuff, sitting around her.


It's that's the subject matter. The content is so deep and so various and so wonderfully pulled together. It's, you know, each one is a vast meal. And so I'm going to have to shut up a lot, but I'm going to let Anne talk to you a little bit about this very first. And then we're looking at the first one in the series of three is night death and the devil that's tonight night death and the devil, and it's an agreement.


And I would say that it is what's safe seven by nine max it's yeah. It's not big at all. No. Well, it feels big because when we taught history of prince, one of the others from this little of three set of three was there was a blow up of it on the door. Right. And it was like two by three feet. Yeah. And it looked perfectly fine and perfectly normal.


And yet you've got to hit, take your fingers, go pinch it down. Like you were on your phone to something that is half the size of a tablet. And do we know that he didn't like death and the devil before the other two? Yes, we do know you actually the day. Yeah. It was nice that when we put the data, that was nice.


It was nice. I think it's important to realize that he's 42 when he's doing that. Huh? Great. Yes. Yeah. So you want me to describe this? Is that what's happening well, sure. Because yeah, you've looked at it a few times. All right, so now definitely, definitely. So describe it again and describe what we know.


It's great. It's true. But why is this so mesmerizing? I, I feel like it has everything in the kitchen sink. Like it, it has a myriad of textures. It has really cool, weird animals and goals and demons and deaths. I don't know, it just in the compositions, incredible. The composition is astonishing right off the bat.


And I, and I think the case could be made that well, if we, if we were to think about setting up a composition, like on a grid with horizontals and verticals, I actually put this out for my drawing students and I, and I do a diagram on top of it where you could see that the exactly halfway through the plate describes the back of the horse.


And then if on exact vertical that bisects that the night is absolutely dead center, but then you could start doing diagonals with th with the sword, into the landscape or the Lance that does this other X. And you start realizing that he's using these kinds of diagonals, which I think he really would have picked up on when he was in Venice, because they're far more experimental with compositions and Venice people like Titian and the.


It's just not something this kind of compositional concept was not be something that he would have stumbled on in the north. It's just not, not to mention just the way the horse and the rider are put together. Now, I want you to tell us more about what they look like. So in the center, we have this Knight in his shining armor, riding astride, a course food is muscular and erect and beautiful and looks just like, he's ready to go, where he's going.


And then they have their little dog Fido down there, silky little dog. He's he's literally like he's trotting along beside he's in action, right? When there's little fluffy ears trailing behind and the thing that's so cool. I mean, I think the whole point of it is that the three of them are a unit and they are the sort of.


Boldly going where no person has gone before, and they're not going to be deterred by these things that are trying to attempt I'm in the woods. Right. And then behind them, as you've rightly pointed out before on the, on the left hand side, who's holding a plate. Well, that's death with the hourglass. What, what does doesn't he looks kind of terrifying.


He's kind of like half skeleton. He looks like skeleton. Yeah. But with sneaky hair and weird horns and whatnot. And then, and he's on a pale horse. He is on a painter. Yeah. Which actually, if you think about, it looks a lot like the pale horse and yeah. As opposed as opposed to this new course here. Right.


And then, and then so that'd be the, that'd be death. And then, so it's night death and the devil and look at what's the deli. Well, the devil weird sort of herbed horn on the top of his head, which is kind of curved the wrong way. And he always looks like he has earrings to me, but I think those are those more orders that are curling.


Yeah. Yeah. It always looks a Juul to me the first time I remember he was didn't like that. Okay. Yeah. And he's, he's the ears and scaly and, and, and furry or cross with an ant eater across with, uh, you know, which also seems like he's like juror snagged, all the ickiest parts out of  temptation of St.


Anthony and just squished them all together in this nasty image of the devil and mellow, you can even see as clove and Hough, which is, you know, so, you know, he's got kind of that safe here, like kind of, Ooh, and he's got a totally creepy tail too. Yeah. The tail is creepy and then let's see, hold what's that thing called the grave.


Yeah. And the thing is like maybe half spear, half acts. Uh, all right. So, and then behind them is what, like, look at the boots in it. Rocky outcroppings, he's kind of going by a clique-ish thing that has some. Blasted trees growing up out of it. And in the far distances, they've, you know, the shining city on a hill  as though he is the, uh, the soldier of Christ armed with his faith, which is actually essentially aligned from harassments that said a Christian is armed.


If he's armed, where's the armor of God. He can basically conquer anything. And so here he goes to this night, absolutely fearlessly through essentially the shadow of death. You know, if you have, even below that you have right by jurors plaque with the date is the head, the skulls head. Right. And then the lizards, the sleeves glue the ring off there.


And, but all of this accomplished with appearance. Okay. Yeah. And the other thing that's kind of interesting to me is that the ghouls, the. Double are not engaging him. They're just sort of watching him go by hoping he will turn his head and engage, trying to taunt him, but he's still hit, but not like actively poking him with the blades.


Right. But he's, it's almost as though he's got his spiritual blinders on. I mean, literally that helmet and the armor, which is so wonderfully, like any of the mercenary Germans that were down in Venice land, which were working at the time, that looks like totally German armor with its highlights and it's, you know, and then the rivulets in the, in the fire covers and all of the various trappings of an actual night it's, it's, it's alarmingly accurate.


It's amazing. And the I know you're going to, we're going to get to the horse, which is straight out of Venice, right? Absolutely. But what. Looking at, I mean, Ann's got a blown up a bazillion, I'm gonna say, so I I'm, I have pulled up this print via the metropolitan museum of arts webpage and they have a function where you can zoom in really, really, really tight if you want to get in and really check out the weird curled horns of, you know, the devil, et cetera.


Um, I've just noticed if you zoom in tighter, if you can, isn't that a bell that's on the backside of the horse and it looks like there's something. Yeah. And it almost looks like there's some kind of inscription on the I'm. We're not, we can't even get into that. We don't have time, but, but it's, it's so worth.


You're absolutely. It's an absolute necessity that you, oh my Lord. Look at how the cross contours and the dots and the dashes described this echoing anatomy. I mean the, the flanks of this thing, you can sense that they shutter as they hit the floor, you know, they're big, heavy, beautiful, Steve. And so what I like to show my students is that, oh yeah, it's your head spent some time in Venice, you know, just, you know, a few years earlier.


And so I'll pull up this equestrian monument is huge bronze monument to Bartolomeo Corleone, which  had created and was it's all in 1488 and, and Colonia was, uh, a conduct era. He was a leader of men and he's on this Vic vast, wonderful, strong horse. And it's got an incredibly um, literal kind of portrait of a, of an officer.


Well, that's on a 13 foot pedestal in Venice, but if you were to compare that three-dimensional horse to the one that, that your creates in two dimensions on a piece of paper carved into copper, you know, seven by nine inches. It's, it's, Donnish really literal, but oh, rats are such a, not literal, but such a wicked translation three into two dimensions.


But it's just noticing that the. The gain of the horse is changed. CS. Yeah. So he's got the four and the statutes, Ron statue, the left for like as bop and the back leg is forward the back legs. But barely that is interesting with the front to have this peculiar. I wonder why. Uh, a horse gates this way, not this doctor is correcting.


Oh, that would make sense. Cause that horse, that that course would fall over. Wouldn't it? Right. Oh, now we're going to have to go blame parochial for the death of how many Venetians that didn't fall because there's somebody new that dissertation topic you can think and Schaefer for that one on this very day, September, I don't know what, but the point is that he's seen, you know, this is the way an artist goes through the world.


Noticing I tell my students, your job is to be trained observers. And juror is by far one of the most observant of any artists we've seen to this point. So now he's bringing the Venetian experience back. He's bringing his Italian experience back just so then if we were to compare the four horsemen of the apocalypse to this new print, and we look at these prints that are 15 years ago, 14 years apart, 15 years apart.


 it’s like night and day one has it's. It's clearly galloping out of the medieval. And one is squarely in the concept of the Renaissance and it's not the Northern Renaissance and it's not the Italian Renaissance. It's a Renaissance. And it's absolutely the high Renaissance in, in Germany with your, this international art star who has been the one to cross the Alps, not once but twice.


So it's an exclusive. No amalgam of intellect of the humanist of his reading, of transcribing different kinds of symbols into something that would be legible to a viewer. Um, and I love how you just pointed out how the D the pale horse looks of death looks like the pale horse in this print, but the rest tells you he's, he's, he's taken it up 18 notches.


Yeah, for sure. I mean, he's sampling, you know, I'm sure you've said this, but I can't remember. Cause we've had this discussion several times now that the, that the weird ghoul devil death peoples are straight out of the Sean Gower St. Anthony tempted and the horse, you know, straight out of Venice. I mean, it's, you know, he's, he's taking, he's absorbing and.


It is a perfect sponge. Yeah. But it's a really original sponge and he's bringing himself out. He's not just soaking it up and then not able to put it together. He's dispersed, he distills it into this really Supreme product. And he actually does that with the, the next one in the cycle, which someone would say as a cycle, some would say they don't belong together.


But I think that absolutely have to belong together because I have too much way too much sense together. They're of a very similar size. Um, and the second print in this, uh, the great three w is the St. Jerome and his study, and that comes from 15, 14. Here's juror, a whopping 43. Oh 43. Yeah. It's 15. 14, right?


Well, 40. So I think he's, uh, he's at the absolute Apogee of his skill and his intellectual abilities to end his he's. All those experiences and it's like everything. This is almost like his dissertation, you know, gotta get it out before it's too late before it's too late because you know, every one of these remind reminds you remember, you will die, right?


Because there's an hourglass by Sam taken away. And each one of all of them and each, uh, I believe, well, at least two of them have the depth of the skull, the death's head, which is that vanitas that memento. Mori. Remember you will die. Time is fleeting and don't squander it. So if we look at, uh, St Jerome in his study, which is, you know, well, we had this magnificent exterior image of, of this night, you know, traveling unphased through the, through the valley of the shadow of death, with what I like to say, the courage of his convictions, just absolutely unshakable in this image.


We have a person with the courage of his intent. I mean, he can't be shaken from his task. This is Saint Jerome, beautifully focused over a little bitty desk in the middle back. Uh, of an, of a stunning interior of 15, 13 at the ceiling, it's all done in this wonderful, almost three-point perspective, but the room evaporates from away from us, just with a wooden beam ceiling, where the signature of the wood is a parent, the left-hand wall coming in at this marvelous sort of 60 degree angle with the arched window, all the panels of which are made up of these bottle, bottom glass, orbs that hook together and sunlight spills through those, into the room.


Uh, to the setting where the monk is seated at his desk with a tiny little crucifix on the corner, emanating his own enlightenment, his own illumination. As he is translating the Bible as a Saint Jerome, translating the Bible into Latin in 3 86 of the common era, he takes her home and we know it's Saint Jerome cause we've got his attributes, right?


So the lion that he met out in the desert room, and we talked about him in the prior episode, talking about him, slamming on his chest with a rock. Well, there's the lion, but look at this happy, big kitty with his lions, but he's horrible. He's all asleep. And next to him is a little sleeping dog looking well, fed and happy.


But this time it looks like a corgi. I think don't you think. There, but they're at peace and they're totally asleep and they're not, you know, they're there to protect if they needed to there's jurors monogram on a tablet laying on the floor and perspective leading us back to St. Jerome and his desk and his other attributes, the Cardinal's hat, which is hanging on the wall behind, because he was one of the first card, most of the Catholic church.


And then if you really zoom in and, and we'll be able to let us know that with our, our fabul links back on the site, looking at there, and then this little strip of leather is tacked to the wall and tucked into that are letters and writings and scissors, and a little scroll. And there's a dust brush and there's a crystal beads, you know, for praying it, maybe a rosary.


Um, and then, you know, there's a shelf above with various ongoing some candle sticks. Yeah. Up in the corner, this strange round form, which is absolutely essential to the composition, but, and also echoes beautifully off of itself and the Cardinal's hat and the top of St. Jerome's head and the death's head and even down into the animals, uh, is this gourd very large Gord with obscenely beautiful spiraling vines.


It's hanging from the ceiling. Yeah, no, that seems in Congress. Yeah, it does. I mean, it's a little canted out to you, so you see the bottom of it, probably a little too much for the perspective, but I'm not going to complain. We can't complain because it looks so right. But look, the only thing that I've never noticed until today is the shadow of the desk and then the bright bit of sunlight that just catches the corner of that one tasseled pillow.


Yup. I mean, I die just it's obscene. Look at it. You're like, yeah. So then you have the natural light coming in the window and casting the shadow of the desk on the floor. And yet, and the little slippers yet. Oh, the slippers are off also because he's on sacred ground. Remember that a little bit from the, from the Arnold Afeni wedding portrait that also indicates, you know, toes good for you for the, this little foam.


So then the idea is that he's admitting his own light is also very telling. Um, well, yeah, I mean, it's like his own light and daylight and no, there's no candles. There's like, it's like in the light of day, I am, I am exposing the word. And the reason that that silly Gord is there and it's because of jurors is putting together these various bits of knowledge of the past, where the Gord was a mistranslation of a symbol that was mentioned in the book of Jonah and how the, the gourd or hide or whatever it was protected him from.


Well, it's, it's used here. And as Jan has just pointed out that it's a way of you're translating properly the scene for us to be able to see the sacred moment of the Bible being translated from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, which was a language of the people. It was the Vulgate, the li the, the Bible that anyone of letters could read from the fourth century forward.


Another wonderful thing to do is compare the same scene, same subject matter, St. Jerome, the Bibles, the lion and in this case, uh, from 1493, it's a woodcut that your head done. And I love to compare this for my students so that they realize, I asked them, like, do you think you're going to be the same person in 20 years that you are now?


He said, God, I hope I won't be because this is what juror was doing when he was, you know, 20 years earlier and 20 years head. So we compare this to this woodcut and give me a read on what you think of the woodcut. Well, it looks. It looks like somebody in a Guild was whipping off of something, something, cause it's just, it's not, I mean, well, I would never, I didn't even when you put that up, you didn't, wasn't sure.


But see, everybody has to learn. Right. And I found that I'm like, oh my God, it's the same thing. So the lion looks like Geraldo, it looks like it came off a flag of some jousting thing. Right. He sent me a profile and it's not even very accurate. And then there's a little see through him. He's literally pulling the floor out, but that didn't make any sense because that had happened before.


And then he literally had to put the three different Bibles, one in Greek, one in Hebrew, one in Latin so that you can see that that's what Saint Jerome was doing. But already right there, there's too much in a bed. And the note, the village out the window, the same kind of, but it's too much there. We can't focus.


Right. And he takes all of that and pushes it all into this one moment. And it's like, you don't need all that other stuff to tell us that. Translating the Bible. And I think, I think the Gord in a way is our clue to that. Then he's, he's taking all of that former stuff and putting it into that moment where it will become the people's language.


And they're like folks it's like night and day, the woodcut is very sweet, but it doesn't look like a juror at this juror of 15, 14 is in beautiful. And your perspective, the light falls on everything and making perfect sense. It is exactly like the light. You would see if you were to go, let's say to the best bar in Baltimore.


I think there's a, a bar, the owl bar at the hotel Belvedere that has exactly the same windows. And so I have a picture that I always show. Perfectly placed beers on a copper table and a copper table. Of course, that's not a copper table. I mean, come on. That's why one goes to there because there's a copper table with the perfect window.


And I think that I'm reenacting a juror moment because it is, it has each of these little details. These is totally relatable slices of life that would engage a viewer. Uh, and so it's, and it's an engraving and there's nothing in there. That's accidental, not one. So that would be this beautifully contemplative site and is going to, I say, I don't know if I could choose between I, Hey man, I'm going to do this one.


Cause I've had beers in front of that window, man. It's like so very well. Okay. But wait, here's what I know. I don't need to own, but I respect implicitly. We're going to go to the third of the engravings from, uh, that year and a half. So this is the melancholia one from 1514, uh, that your had created and where else we had a night in the outside world unfazed and the  music moving forward.


And we had this total meditative state of the translated. Cardinal say you giving the Bible to us in a readable form. And this final one is very cryptic and there's tons and tons of literature and interpretations on this, I think as well, there should be because it's so, so, so loaded. And yet it's makes sense because it is somewhat autobiographical.


Um, because it, it, there are those that would believe in, I'm not going to discount it, that it is essentially your self portrait. Um, despite the fact that you don't see his actual face, you see all of these things that are emblematic of him. Um, Yeah. And you described, okay, so while this is melancholia one, it says it, and it actually says it, the only print he made that includes the title, which is being held by a, a weird bat, a bat, the harbinger of right.


Which is sort of floating up there in the background underneath an umbrella and a and umbrella of a rainbow. Sorry, what did I say? But that's okay. Because the umbrella to buy a rainbow, see, we can always come to a good meaning place. So the rainbow hope. Yes. But under that rainbow is a comment, which is another harbinger of what knows.


God knows what it's a terrifying omen of something. We don't know what, right. And then there's sort of a sea and there's a strange little, fairly tiny back there. Now what's going on here in the foreground mishap. Well, there's a rather monumental figure of, uh, I could never decide if it was a man or a woman, but we think it's a woman, but also a self portrait of her.


And he's, he, she is sitting. With his cheek in hand, looking for Lauren Lee off to stage left. Right. Um, just crap. Yeah. Just so defeated. Just crunched down. And like you had said, you think it looks somewhat like the thinker, but now it's more like the sulker, right? Because the eyes are open and looking outward, total scowl and she's, she he's winging it, which I always thought was bizarre.


But I think that that is a form of genius and the genius, the concept of genius, a person wasn't a genius. They were inspired by a genius, like the genius of dance with genius of music and you were waiting for that person to arrive. Um, and so emblematic of inspiration that an artist is not receiving.


Right. And then next to her, him, her there's a little chair up sitting on a gristmill wheel. I think who's asleep and now just cherubs are not supposed to be asleep. They're supposed to be. We'll put those name is puto because they're putting out all kinds of joy and fun and a little backside show, and it's got this little wings.


Well, this was just all, it's all asleep and hunkered down. And, and, you know, it's emblematic to some scholars that the puto might be emblematic of. Let's say the artisan who doesn't have any work, but it doesn't look troubled. Unlike the artist who this should be, because it's crowned with like, let's say laurels, but cannot make, because it is an uninspired artist.


It is melancholic. Um, it is, it is B Saturn has as distributed its its ominous presence on it's Saturday and it's melancholia. It's one of the four humors. And so uninspired, she sits there. Gloomily in this pose, which is traditionally used for sloths in medieval allegories that show them seven deadly sins.


She's she's got that kind of thinker ish pose of slot. I just noticed that. Perhaps the trail of this comment might indicate that it's, that maybe inspiration's about to hit the head cause it's pointing right at the head of the melancholic figure, but it's also way back in the distance. And yeah, and at the same time, there's this ladder that's waiting to be ascended with this and a ladder to nowhere.


And yet at the same time, all of the wonderful tools at the artists and artisans disposal are right there in front of a black plane and hammer and nails and a saw and various forms of measurement and platonic solids. There's a polyhedron that's so beautifully shadowed by the light it's the shadow is being dictated by the light of a comment.


And yet, and then there's Mr. Sleepy dog, he's all balled up. And as you had pointed out and now he's, he's completely withered. Like you can see his ribs because he hasn't been able to feed on this. Yeah. And it's there. And yet, if you scroll in more and more and more, you just start realizing, you know, the, the scales are absolute balanced, but there's nothing in the trays.


And there's a bell that goes unwrong. And the hourglass above the wing of the geniuses, just it's inactive Steinway. And behind her is this peculiar thing, which again, shows how deeply red juror was in terms of geometries and humanists and, and, uh, the concept of, of the melancholic states. There's this one, tell them what is that?


Etched in carved into the wall of the tower. That's mine, the magic square. Bigger. Thank you. It's the magic square. It's four numbers over four numbers. And any way you add them up, they equal 34. It's a puzzle. Yeah. 34. No, it was three, four prime member. I don't know. Oh my God. Don't ask me math question.


Well, that's cause you know, juror would know because he actually right, because that whole concept of geometry and mathematics, undergird beauty in art making, uh, in his day. Well, the point about this print that we also wanted to make is just how the factory says melancholia one. Now. It get lifts gives more credence to the concept of, of melancholia, uh, being a self portrait because melancholia one had been written about by various authors, melancholy.


Uh, one was the kind of Mellon, uh, slough, the, the uninspired, the lack of inspiration for artists melancholia two was for the rank above that, believe it or not, uh, which was scholars and statesmen and melancholia three, imagine an uninspired theologian who cannot, uh, preach to the flock. These are the, the shapes of, of it's a dangerous situation, right?


It's like a Batman, a comment. This is in an uninspired situation, caste system in India. Oh, it totally is. Whoa. Yeah. And I, and, but I find that fascinating too, because you know, here we have, and it's coming from largely Italian texts, however, melancholia one, I wanted to put these three together and, and.


Sidebar this print was done after his visit to, uh, to Italy. I just, I I'm showing an actually an outtake from Raphael's painting of the sensibility to Futura, which shows a portrait of Michelangelo in exactly virtually the same position. Uh, the group gloomy Saturday and Pisces Michelangelo in exactly the same grumpy uninspired position he's being used as a stand in for Hereclitis in this particular school of Athens.


But this concept of the artist, you know, as an intellectual or as I gentlemen, but certainly not a parasite, even an, even an uninspired, uh, gentleman is better than a parasite. You know, if we go back to that thought that juror had come to the realization that in Italy, I am a gentleman and now he's putting these lessons together.


But then if we look at all three prints together as. Um, each of them fully capable of standing on their own. However, you look at the, the night death and the devil that that'd be a moral kind of a statement. The one of the, of St. Jerome translating, it's a theological statement. And then you look at melancholia, which is, it's almost purely an intellectual statement.


Uh, but you know, the artist, the idea of being able to have an active life like, right, doesn't the devil or contemplative life. Those are, should be parts of all of us in balance, but to have the active life and the contemplative life. Should be part of the intellectual life of the artist. The artist should be all of those things.


And I think that's something that, that is making patently visible here, particularly by using this, this last one is as how essential it is for an artist to be inspired by mathematics, geometry, all of these physical and intangible things. And yet could still end up in the state. I think it also gives us a thorough, uh, through note of the dog in each, the hourglass in age, the deaths had all of these elements that create a great moment for a mind like he is so thick.


In his ability to consolidate humanist ideas, Christian ideas history, symbology, and, and to be able to straddle the Italian Renaissance concepts and these medieval ones that he grew up with and create a moment for himself with these kinds of prints. And if we stopped there, we could say, we're done with Europe.


We totally could, but you didn't exactly die then, you know, I mean, cause we'd be leaving out like the, the rhinoceros that he made the following year, that that would cut to the rhinoceros, which is reproduced time and time again, it's so many different books, right? He never saw the rhinoceros. And as an Indian rhinoceros that is delivered to Lisbon and somebody had written it down on a piece of paper and sent it up and you're a red, this one, oh, it's an armored this with legs of that.


But it did it today. And he puts together this wonderful article, but not fantastic. Like why not exactly fantastical. Like it was the most remarkably descriptive thing anybody had of a rhinoceros. And, and again, data that concept of being able to. Describe visually that's the role of the artist, that's his job, you know?


So, uh, that's uh, it's just fascinating to think that that could stand in as the concept of the rhino for centuries. Um, couple of his books, actually, one of them becomes the standard for how to teach adults about math. Yeah. But we're not even there yet. We just want to take a moment to talk about this, this other thing.


Um, remembering that that Euro was going to sample new stuff. And so we're going to touch briefly on the fact that when at one point he lived at his, his bureau and aside, you know, it, wasn't pushing that beer in, through that copper and plowing directly into the plate heat for momentarily. He tried his hand at etching, which was something new ish.


Um, you know, farmers have been using it for ages by making a human scribing, a pattern onto the surface of iron for armament like that. Night riding through that, but then they, and they would bite into that. Uh, and it would hold the image, but jurors tries his hand with the same process on iron. And, and if you look at the end results, well, what do you think of these two prints that he worked on in, in etching from 15, 15 and 1516?


Well, I think he can see why he wouldn't be particularly enthused by it. Cause it's not, it doesn't get at the delicacy of engraving, but it's, I don't know. It just looks sort of trotting, pedantic. Yeah. And it's in a way it has the same presences as woodcuts, but, but I can see him going, what the fuck is this?


That's no fun. I mean, you can think about what I can get with my gravy is far more difficult, but this is just, but part of it was because he was engraving into. And it was Lucas enlightened, who he would meet up in the Netherlands, who a couple of years who said, Hey, let's not try this, let's try this on copper instead.


And in etching, didn't become a really solid, big deal until while you'll this Rembrandt that we'll discuss in a future episode, but at least I'll use trying this new way. Um, and, uh, we wanted to mention another thing about, uh, juror, because we would be remiss if we didn't mention a little project that he had taken on for his chief patron.


Um, that was the emperor Maximilian. Uh, he'd been a patron of juror since 1512. When he got that, you know, that, uh, what do we call it? Copyright one of the very first ever, I'm not going to tell me all right. And Maximillian who was the holy Roman emperor? Um, any, any ruled over the Habsburg territories? My notes hearsay from 1493, spring 15, 19 had written and I find this.


Um, my notes show, uh, to ensure fame, Maximillian commissioned artists to make paintings, prints, and illustrated books celebrating his achievements. He said, quote, he who does not provide for his memory during his life will be forgotten with the sound of his death. No, and quote and not wrong. He's not wrong at all.


And, and, and here's how we remember him, right? Because what Dan and I are looking at are, is what came to be an 11 foot tall by nine and a half foot wide, uh, would collect image. It was made of 192 separate woodcut blocks that were assembled to create the triumphal arch of emperor Maximilian or counting.


Triumphs through wars and battles and everything, every accomplishment and this triumphal arch, if you're lucky enough to see it, IRL is just a hoot. I mean, it is taller than any room and you have to imagine being able to see this complete glued, let's say to the entrance wall of a walled city in Maximilian's realm, and to create this isle Richter was like the overseer and the designer of the whole project, but it, it had to be accurate because he saw a bright dearer.


So he, uh, worked with the the king with emperor Maximilian poet slash. Astronomer slash historiography offer, who basically came up with the libretto of this operatically scaled image. Um, and there was an architect that he worked with so that the architecture would look proper with three entrance gates, which echo the triumphal arches of Roman emperors of your, you know, Titus and change in and Constantine and those kinds of.


And he also had to engage the help of a quote wouldn't cutting from it, which would take to cut 192 blocks because, you know, so in this case, jurors, the Heiser and he's put it all together. And there's this massive form with, with all kinds of wonderful texts underneath, but this, this architectural form with people and, and, and battles and stories and the Habsburg crest and the little golden fleece hang, you know, and all the way up.


And we get up to two towers. And then the thing that I would always have with the help of the national gallery folks who were so kind every year to pull this out from my history of prince folks and lay it out all 11 feet. And if you really squander around it, and you can see that things like the torches that are flaming at the top or blowing opposite directions, which I think is kind of a problem, you know, we think maybe it was carved by committee.


You know, all the boys didn't sit down one day, all the, all the flames should be going the same direction, or maybe. This thing is just trumpeting so much energy. I, it makes me think of you know, fireworks. Yes. I, it just, it, it really does spark it up. Doesn't it? I'm there. So you had some thoughts about this enormous image being glued to the city weapon.


Oh, wow. Well, first of all, when we, I was at the national gallery when this came in and, and they Hugh fibs, who was the head prepared or made the plan for how to assemble the thing. And it required cutting of the sheets because there was a margin around all of them, all of the images, and then they had the hinge them together and that.


So trying to, you know, imagine some, you know, hack from the town hall and whatever little town. Melting bullying this, or however they were doing it, but how could it be any different than getting the billboards up properly? You know, if it's essentially two billboards stacked on top of each other with really marvelously small information and, and, and stock you.


But the one at the national gallery came in, in, they were filed in a book from 1798. And, but yeah, you know, you had to cut it out, follow the instructions, just like, you know, press out the paper dolls and, and create this arch and glue it on your city wall. But that's also then telling us that these could have been all over his realm to try and, you know, Trump, his presence.


I said that thinking about an institution, like elaborate or make museum keeping it for longevity. I don't know. I doesn't, I can't answer that. How would they, yeah, I think it's just saying I'm here. The size alone is, I mean, at the national gallery, it's in two pieces in bottom, over top or top of her bottom, because that was as big as.


You know, that's the largest, it's the largest, a flat file United States was created for this 96 wide. Yeah. It's, it's huge. It's wonderful lesson. So it's quite the, you know, quite the finale to a class when I take them down there. And, uh, and then believe it or not, there was a second part to this.


There's supposed to be a triumphal procession for emperor Maximilian and Albert you're headed, designed that only the first eight blocks were cutting and well, like with Sean Garron Martin Montana, max died in 50 19. So do your eventually prince, the first date place, which he had control over and it doesn't pay attention to the rest of it.


It's still pretty wonderful to see this procession. You can imagine that like Mr. Peabody, you know, he's Mr. Peabody's history, marching into a city. Yeah. So just understanding that as a propaganda. Opus, you know, and so we got all of that and also the Dürer is enjoying patronage. Absolutely. And international fame.


And, and at the same time I find it interesting that in 15, 20 to 1521, he takes this, he decides to take a trip to the Netherlands. He's never been up there. Um, he's done Italy twice and, but in 1520, there, there are notes that say he, he writes to himself. I fear I am losing my eyesight and my strike, my hand strength.


Um, and you know, that kind of makes sense. Cause he's approaching 50. He is 50 and 1521. Um, and if you think about, if you look at the nature of the marks the man is making and what strength and control that takes and the kind of eyesight that, that requires me at the age of 60 to feeling the unbelievable pain of arthritic hands can tell you that I can see why a man who's already passed is expired by.


And it's going to go, I, you know, I'm going to go up there, I'm going to see what I can do to make some sales. And, and he does. And he but we don't see that much more engraving coming out of him. That's not entirely true in terms of like he does magnificent portraits. We'll talk about his portrait of per climber in another episode that relates to, uh, uh, the reformation.


But you know, the kinds of things like this, the night death and the devil that the great three, we don't see that again. We do see that he'll make a one last effort at a a passion that is, uh, incomplete at his demise. Uh, but it also shows us that he has shifted gears and has responded to the changing of the times because this little incident in 1517, where Martin Luther nails, 95 objections to the Catholic church on the wall, on the door of the Wittenberg.


Has definitely caught his attention. And it's definitely an issue. This concept of protesting the Catholic church and what it's doing is an issue. And there's morph is spreading throughout Germany and all of Europe and response to this reformation. The reformulation of the church that Martin Luther is insisting on.


Um, and during is incredibly well-read on things of like Erasmus and PIR, climber, and, uh, Melanchthon. He also really respects Melancon who was a supporter of, of Luther, uh, to the point that, you know, we don't see much, but I think that the indication that juror was indeed going to, who had decided to shift over to Lutheranism comes when you look at this, uh, portrait of the four apostles that he paints, it's this an astonishing painting that he gives to the city of Nuremberg.


Um, and it is a portrait that. For them a full-scale figures of, of, uh, St. John and St. Peter and St. Mark and Saint Paul all just these four apostles. And it is a response to the Lutheran prescription on no graven images. No, altarpieces no paintings, no stained glass windows that in the beginning was the word.


And the word was God. And that's reflected in exactly in this painting that, that, that juror has created and then gifts to the city of Nuremberg, because what it is is his oil painting of a Protestant manifesto. If you really, really, really read down into the iconography of this. And you understand that he's even used the four apostles as the different four humors that we had seen in the fall of man, that you look at the books that they're reading, that that in the beginning was the word.


And the word was God, that it tells you that the answers are in the book. And that book is the book that Martin Luther translates into German, which is the Bible, which is the same Bible that's Jerome had translated into Latin. And that's the kind of stuff, you know, this portrait that that juror does of harassments are of melange fund, uh, that he reveres these change-makers.


And that portraiture is one of the ways that you can continue to reflect your taste and your faith and your beliefs by making images of the people you respect. Um, so I, I think it's imperative that we look at those last engravings as he does as part and parcel of that idea of what is imagery and the role of work.


And how do can put together all of those lessons and what he is that he's making. Um, these brilliant. He is that thing we call a Renaissance, man. He, he, he is. So well-read in the humanities, in the, in the theology, in geometry, in all of these great ideas that go before in, in, in searching out other masters to Revere, whether it's Leonardo or Bellini or, uh Montonya or who knows, you rarely see him quoting anybody from his own country, because he is the voice of his country, you know?


Um, I, that's why I think he's kinda lost somebody. Well, I mean, he's a game-changer yeah, I don't, it's hard to imagine the trajectory of art history. Without him, honestly, I can't, I can't, I can't, I, it can't be done. No, it is that beautiful hinge. She's that fulcrum between the medieval and the Renaissance and that fulcrum that brings together the Italian Renaissance and that Northern sacredness of vision that the catalogs, everything that's visible, but it's juror that puts it in a framework in a composition that's readable and intelligible, but also intelligent.


And there's so many layers of reading that can go in there. I, you know, we could spend the rest of our lives looking at just those three prints and waste them like, oh, look at that Buddha. And you can listen to us. Cool. And cool about how marvelous they are. Um, well, uh, so he dies in 1528, but before he dies, he does publish three books.


Well, two books that we should know, we should note for you because it also makes sense to me that you're focuses that last bit on what he'll leave behind in books. And so he puts out a treatise on measurement and 1525. He teaches us in visual ways, how to create perspective in these really wonderful woodcuts.


Uh, and he writes a treaty science, Sydney fortification, which actually was consulted in use. The treaters on measurement became the book, uh, that taught math to adults and how to measure with a compass and a ruler. It taught you literally how to draw things and understand things in mathematical ways. Uh, and then the one that was published after his death on the four books of proportion, uh, came out in 1528.


But if you look at the nature of how he's measuring the human body and he uses different body types and the way he measures them and he grids them and they actually anticipate what is now used for a computer generated. And the same with the, with the uh, measurement book on, on perspective, he uses visual rays that are used now in computer diagramming, but he's just knocking that out, you know, oh, well, you know, 500, 600 years ago, you know, that's, that's a little depth of field and it includes one of those books includes his whole treatise on what beauty is.


And he really does put all of his ideas together in terms of how it is mathematics and the idea of inspiration and how you, it is, how it really is a consolidation of a coalescence of all of those things that he put together, like looking at the blades of grass and that the bunny rabbit and the different ways that humans behave and the different ways that humans are built and how we can rationalize sight, but you can't rationalize faith.


And it's, it's very, very complete to have left a record behind, uh, in living to 57. That's pretty impressive, you know, Heck I I'd be dead five years ago if I would, you know, so Brock on I'll bracket, you're still, it's actually the name of my press, so. Oh, right. Yeah. Yeah. I guess I kind of believe in the nude.


Yeah. Any parting thoughts on our boy? Um, I believe we can say without too much hesitation that this will be the only artist that will take up two episodes. Yeah. Right. Well, he did kind of set those stage. Yeah. You have to get a firm grasp on dirt to go forward. Well, don't look at me late. It's my fault.


It's not your fault. I mean, okay. So you're going to tell me the Rembrandt. Yup. You're going to get it done. That's fine. We can go well, Ram rent maybe. Yeah. Maybe we'll see. They only made three, 300. That's okay. Yeah, there's lots of talk about it. I'm hoping it's delicious to all of you. And we hope that you take the time to look at some of the images that will be associated with this podcast and it should make your eyes go.


LG glee. Also, when you look at them, try to remember that there weren't images for you in those days, you would be lucky to see a picture. If you went to church, if you went to a Protestant church, there wouldn't be any paintings on the wall at all. You might not have any access to books. So to see a print, whether it was a poster kind of broadside stuck to a post or a city wall, or if you knew somebody with money who had some of these prints, how very special it was and that to create any one of these images took time and care.


And it wasn't just something that was dashed off by pushing press on your printer. It was all done by care and love and meditation. And. All right. Okay. Folks, this concludes our episode under . Thank you for joining us again on plate mark series two history of Western prince. Thank you. True for your incredible passion and knowledge about the man I was called during the man.


He's the man. Yeah, I'm going to wrap it up there.


late. Mark is produced by me Ann Shafer and a special thank you to my cohost, the amazing, Tru Ludwig. We'd also like to send a special shout out to Michael Diamond for the use of his original music. images of the DARS you've heard about today are available@platemarkpodcast.com. See you next time.