The Penance Of St. John Chrysostom (1496) by Albrecht Durer

The Penance Of St. John Chrysostom - Albrecht Durer - 1496

Artwork Information

TitleThe Penance Of St. John Chrysostom
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Penance Of St. John Chrysostom

“The Penance of St. John Chrysostom” is an engraving created by Albrecht Dürer in 1496, a masterful artist of the Northern Renaissance. This artwork, with religious themes, is a part of a private collection. Dürer’s engraving captures a legendary episode from the life of St. John Chrysostom, where he is in exile doing penance.

In the engraving, St. John Chrysostom is depicted in the center foreground as a seated, emaciated figure with long hair and beard, exemplifying the hardships of his penance. To his left, a majestic stag stands at rest, and to his right, a doe suckles his infant. The setting includes a rocky landscape, with a variety of foliage and details that show an adept use of the engraving medium to convey texture and depth. In the background, a detailed town bustles alongside a river, culminating in a scene that merges the wildness of nature with the civility of human establishment, possibly symbolizing the intersection of the divine and the earthly. The engraving intricately details every aspect, from foliage and animal fur to the saint’s contemplative expression, showcasing Dürer’s exceptional skill in this medium.

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