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Collection of the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield
The Promenade
Date Made/Found: about 1497
Artist: Albrecht Dürer , German, 1471 - 1528
Printmaker: Albrecht Dürer , German, 1471 - 1528
Material and Medium: engraving on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 450 x 302mm Support: 180 x 117mm Overall: 280 x 230mm
Department: Ruskin
Accession Number: CGSG03169
This engraving has two titles relating to two different themes found in the work. The first, 'The Promenade' relates simply to the courting couple enjoying a walk. The second title however, 'Young Couple Surprised by Death', relates to the deeper meaning of the work. The skeletal death figure is quite common in popular printing of this period and is generally known as a 'memento mori', meaning 'remember you shall die.' Memento mori are not warnings of imminent death. Rather, they are reminders that death comes to everyone and the pride or wealth we have on earth will count for nothing after our death. This idea is supported by the grasses that the male figure holds in this print. They probably relate to a Biblical quotation: 'all flesh is like hay and grass; grass dries up and flowers wilt.' Ruskin bought a number of Dürer engravings for Sheffield's Ruskin Collection and often wrote comments and the price he paid for them on the mount. Here, his notes tell us he paid £6 (around £500 today) for the print and comments that the subject matter is 'absurd', but the print itself is 'fine.'
Display Location: In Store
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