The Cook And His Wife (1496) by Albrecht Durer

The Cook And His Wife - Albrecht Durer - 1496

Artwork Information

TitleThe Cook And His Wife
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Cook And His Wife

The artwork titled “The Cook and His Wife” is an engraving created by Albrecht Dürer in 1496. It is a work of the Northern Renaissance art movement and falls into the genre painting category. The medium used for this artwork is engraving, and as of the knowledge cutoff in April 2023, it resides in a private collection.

Describing the artwork, we see two figures depicted in profile. On the left side, there is a robust man, possibly a cook, given his attire, which includes a tight-fitting garment that accentuates his form. He carries with him three tools, likely used for cooking—a ladle and two long-handled utensils—that are tucked into his belt. His gaze is directed outwards with an expression of surprise or alertness.

Standing closely to him on the right is a woman, portrayed as his wife. She wears a dress with a tightly fitted bodice and a full skirt, typical of the era. She also dons a headdress, and her facial expression appears composed and neutral, as she gazes off to the side, not engaging with her apparent partner.

The background is sparse, emphasizing the two figures and their interaction. Their close proximity suggests a relationship, while their expressions and the direction of their gazes imply individual preoccupations. The engraving is rich in detail, showcasing Dürer’s skill in conveying texture and form through the medium of engraving. The monogram “AD,” Albrecht Dürer’s signature mark, is placed prominently at the bottom right of the piece, indicating the artist’s authorship.

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