About this artwork

This print is not only Dürer’s most famous but probably one of the most often reproduced and discussed art works ever created. It shows the figure of Melancholy (Black Humour), one of the four temperaments. The melancholic humour had been related to artists, writers, and creativity in general by the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Later interpretations linked melancholy with genius, and it has been suggested that this print is a ‘hidden self-portrait’. The legacy of this print in art and literature is enormous and was particularly vivid in France and Britain in the nineteenth century.

Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer