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    Sale 2347 | Lot 34
    Price Realized: $55,000With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
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    • Sale 2347 Lot 34

      St. Anthony Reading.

      Engraving, 1519. 108x136 mm; 4 1/4x5 3/8 inches. A superb, richly-inked Meder a impression, with the 3 vertical scartches in the sky near the far right margin, with the mountain line at left distinct and unbroken and before the scratches to the left of the cross, with all the fine, delicate lines distinct and with strong contrasts and no sign of wear, consistent with the earliest impressions of this subject. Ex-collection two unknown collectors, indiscernible ink stamps verso. Trimmed on the plate mark.

      Durer's engraving of St. Anthony, dating from the height of his career, shows the saint hunched, reading on the outskirts of a fortified city (identified by art historian Tietze as combining elements of Trent, Innsbruck and Nuremberg, though recognized by Dürer scholar Thausing as adopted from a drawing titled Pvpila Avgvsta that Dürer had created some 20 years earlier). This is in stark contrast to other contemporaneous Renaissance images of St. Anthony more commonly depicting the saint tormented by demons, under Satan's temptation.

      Dürer must have been particularly proud of this engraving, as he gave it as a gift--along with impressions of his more famous St. Jerome--to several prominent figures on at least six occasions during his 1520-21 trip to the Low Countries. In his diary entry for September 3, 1529, from Antwerp, he wrote, "I gave Wilhelm Hauenhut, equerry of Duke Frederick Palatine, an engraved "St. Jerome" and the two new half-sheets: The Virgin and "Anthoni."

      Scholars from Panofsky onward have remarked on the "modern" aspect of the composition, in which the huddled form of Saint Anthony echoes that of the walled city behind him. "The scenery almost dominates the composition. It is here a 'cubistic' phenomenon, exclusively composed of such clear-cut stereometric solids as prisms, cubes, pyramids, and cylinders which bring to mind a cluster of crystals," (Panofsky, 1943, volume I, p. 201). In this context, one cannot help but to recall Cezanne's pre-cubistic landscape renderings of Mont Sainte-Victoire, which in turn so profoundly influenced Picasso and Braque. Bartsch 58; Meder 51.

      Estimate $60,000 - 90,000

      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $55,000