The Small Courier (1496) by Albrecht Durer

The Small Courier - Albrecht Durer - 1496

Artwork Information

TitleThe Small Courier
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Small Courier

“The Small Courier” is an engraving by the renowned artist Albrecht Dürer, created in 1496. Dürer, a key figure of the Northern Renaissance, excelled in the medium of engraving, and this work is an example from that era. As a genre painting, it would typically depict scenes of everyday life, although this particular piece contains elements that appear more allegorical or fantastical than domestic. The artwork is housed in a private collection, which means it is not on permanent public display.

This engraving by Dürer is quite intricate, demonstrating his mastery over the medium. The image features a dramatically posed, fantastical creature riding a horse, pointing forward with a commanding gesture. The creature shows humanoid characteristics but appears to be wearing a costume reminiscent of foliage or bush, possibly to blend into the natural surroundings. The horse is depicted mid-gallop, adding a dynamic element to the scene. In the foreground, a duck can be seen resting by a patch of tall grass. The background unfolds into a detailed landscape with trees, a body of water, and distant hills dotted with structures that suggest a remote settlement. The artist’s famed monogram, “AD,” can be observed near the center bottom edge of the image. The detail and fineship of Dürer’s lines create depth and texture throughout, capturing light and shadow expertly and adding a sense of realism to this otherworldly scene.

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