Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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The Holy Family in an Enclosed Garden

Artist:
Albrecht Dürer (German, Nuremberg 1471–1528 Nuremberg)
Date:
1512
Medium:
Pen and reddish brown ink.
Dimensions:
10 9/16 x 7 7/8 in. (26.8 x 19.8 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.860
Not on view
This drawing is a variation on a popular fifteenth-century theme in which the Madonna is portrayed seated in a rose garden or on a grassy bank. The arbor suggests the enclosed garden, or hortus conclusus, a visual metaphor for Mary’s virginity. Durer’s working technique - lightly sketched outlines, areas of parallel hatching to differentiate light and shadow, and little attempt at three-dimensionality - exemplifies his graphic production during the second decade of the fifteenth century.
Inscription: Inscribed in brown ink at the top on the recto: 1512 / AD. Framing lines in black chalk by a later hand. Verso inscribed "L" (?) in graphite (19th-century handwriting); inscribed "G.357 Durer" in graphite (20th-century handwriting).

Marking: Annotated in pencil on the verso: G 357 Dürer
Prince Heinrich (Henryk) Lubomirski (1777-1850), Przeworsk; moved to the "Lubomirski Museum," Ossolinski Nationalinstitut, Lviv, after 1868; confiscated by the German occupation forces on 2 July 1941 and removed to Germany; United States Army, 1945-48; Prince Georg Lubomirski; [Schaeffer Galleries, New York]. Acquired by Robert Lehman in 1952.
Stijn Alsteens, Freyda Spira, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings Before 1700 in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., New York and New Haven, 2012, pp. 22-24, no. 9.



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