'The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse' from 'The Apocalypse: Revelation of Saint John the Divine'
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'The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse' from 'The Apocalypse: Revelation of Saint John the Divine' about 1497
This is one of the most famous examples of northern European printmaking, both masterly in its composition and a technical triumph. Each line that appears black in print had to stand out in relief from the wood block. The four terrible horsemen appeared to St John in his apocalyptic vision, destroying all before them. The furthest one is Death the Conqueror, next is War, then Famine, and in the foreground the shrivelled reaper pitching his motley harvest into Hell. Dürer made sixteen innovative large full page woodcuts illustrating the New Testament Book of Revelation. His prints were copied and collected throughout Europe.

Glossary Open

Composition

The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Print

An image pressed or stamped onto paper or fabric. This encompasses a wide variety of techniques, usually produced in multiples, although one-off prints, known as monoprints, are also included. The term is also applied to photographic images.

Relief

A form of sculpture where the image or design projects from a flat surface types of which include, bas-relief or low relief.

Woodcut

A print made from an image carved into a block of wood cut along the grain. Blank areas are cut away leaving an image in relief from which a print is made.

Composition, Print, Relief, Woodcut

Details

  • Acc. No. DURER.50
  • Medium Woodcut on paper
  • Size 39.20 x 28.20 cm (to edge of block)
  • Credit Purchased 1965