The Entombment (c.1497) by Albrecht Durer

The Entombment - Albrecht Durer - c.1497

Artwork Information

TitleThe Entombment
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationAlbertina, Vienna, Austria

About The Entombment

“The Entombment” is a woodcut created by Albrecht Dürer around 1497. As part of the Northern Renaissance art movement, this religious painting belongs to “The Large Passion” series and is currently held in the Albertina, Vienna, Austria. Reflecting Dürer’s technical skill and the Northern Renaissance’s attention to detail, this woodcut illustrates a biblical scene with remarkable intricacy.

In this artwork, the scene depicts the somber moment of Christ’s entombment. The composition is dense with figures, characterized by emotional intensity and detailed expressions. Central to the woodcut is the lifeless body of Jesus Christ being handled by several figures, as they prepare to lay him in a tomb, which is visible to the right side of the image. The surrounding characters display a range of emotions, from deep sorrow to devout contemplation. The background includes a barren, gnarled tree, almost certainly symbolic of death or the Crucifixion, and a landscape that stretches into the far distance.

Dürer’s mastery of woodcut technique is evident in the fine lines and textural details of the drapery, foliage, and facial features. His famous monogram, “AD,” is seen in the lower center, confirming the work’s authenticity. The composition, with its mixture of despair and delicate attention to naturalistic details, is quintessentially Northern Renaissance.

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