Albrecht Dürer’s Triumphal Arch


Albrecht Dürer’s Triumphal Arch (1515), a wall-sized print produced by 192 separate print blocks. I had a good look at this the last time I was the British Museum. The Museum’s site has some sample details of the work but the size of them isn’t so good, unfortunately. This is one of those pictures you either have to see in situ or find a huge digital copy to scrutinise in order to fully appreciate its incredible detail.

The Triumphal Arch is one of the largest prints ever produced. It was commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519). The programme was devised by the court historian and mathematician, Johann Stabius, who explains underneath that it was constructed after the model of ‘the ancient triumphal arches of the Roman Emperors’. (More.)

The Triumphal Arch at The American Institute for Conservation | An overview of the prints and some good views of the full scale of the work.
The Triumphal Arch at | A large view and some details.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The etching and engraving archive

Magnifying the Prado


Albrecht Dürer’s Self-portrait of 1498 as revealed by a new collaboration between Madrid’s Prado Museum and Google Earth. Google has photographed a number of the Prado’s paintings in ultra-high resolution, allowing users of their atlas application to examine the pictures to a degree which the artists themselves wouldn’t have experienced without the use of a magnifying lens. This must be the first time it’s been possible to scrutinise the actual brushstrokes of an online reproduction; screen grabs below show a zoom into Dürer’s right eye. So far only 14 paintings have been given this treatment but among them is the Garden of Earthly Delights triptych by Hieronymus Bosch. It’s worth downloading Google Earth simply for the opportunity to lose yourself in that work’s fantastic tableaux.