Christ before Annas (1511) by Albrecht Durer

Christ before Annas - Albrecht Durer - 1511

Artwork Information

TitleChrist before Annas
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationBritish Museum, London, UK

About Christ before Annas

“Christ before Annas” is a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer, dating from 1511, and a part of “The Small Passion” series. This artwork belongs to the Northern Renaissance movement and falls within the genre of religious painting. Presently, it is located at the British Museum in London, UK.

The woodcut depicts the biblical scene of Jesus Christ being brought before Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. The image is rich in detail, with Christ shown at the center, surrounded by various figures who are presumably guards and onlookers. To Christ’s right, one of the guards appears to be striking him, as evidenced by the movement and positions of the figures. Annas is likely the seated figure who is directly observing the event and is presiding over this initial phase of the Passion of Christ.

Dürer’s expert use of contrasting light and dark areas imbues the scene with a dramatic intensity. The careful arrangement of figures and architectural elements creates a sense of depth and perspective, emphasizing the central action. The woodcut is marked by intricate details, which is characteristic of Dürer’s work, including the ornate attire of the numerous characters and the textures of the environment.

The artist’s monogram, “AD,” can also be seen in the work, signifying his authorship. This scene is one of many in the series that narrate the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus, providing a visual contemplation of the religious themes prominent during the Northern Renaissance.

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