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    Sale 2445 | Lot 11
    Price Realized: $43,750With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
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    • Sale 2445 Lot 11

      The Four Horsemen.

      Woodcut, 1498. 397x285 mm; 15 5/8x11 1/4 inches, thread margins. A superb, dark and evenly-printed impression from the 1511 Latin text edition with strong contrasts and with the relief from the wood block showing on the verso. From the Apocalypse.

      Dürer's Apocalypse is the first book in Western art to be both published and illustrated by a major artist (see also lots 9 and 10). He published three editions of the book, two with Latin text in 1498 and 1511 and a third with German text in 1511. The text, derived from the Book of Revelation or the Revelation to Saint John from the New Testament, was printed by his godfather Anton Koberger, who also produced the well-known Nuremberg Chronicle. According to Bartrum, "Dürer's choice of the Apocalypse theme for the first of his series of religious prints, published just three years after he opened his workshop, must have been determined as much by the approaching half-millennium as by the traditional representation of the subject in 15th century bibles and block-books," (Albrecht Dürer and his Legacy, London, 2002, pages 124-125).

      This is Dürer's most iconic woodcut, on par with his three master engravings Knight, Death and the Devil, 1513, St. Jerome in his Study, 1514, and Melencolia I, 1514 (see lots 39 and 40). According to Bartrum, this image, "Has remained a central source of inspiration behind innumerable images of war and destruction throughout the history of Western art. The horsemen represent the four apocalyptic riders who appear when the first four seals on the scroll presented by Christ to a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes are broken. The first rider (far right), with a bow and crown is the Conquerer; the second, with a sword, signifies War; the third, with the scales of justice, represents Famine; and the fourth on a 'sickly-pale horse' is Death, closely followed by Hell [represented by the gaping-mouthed beast devouring a Pope lower left]," (pages 306-307). Bartsch 64; Meder 167.

      Estimate $40,000 - 60,000

      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $43,750