109. Albrecht Dürer

Not illustrated
Melencolia I
(B. 74; M., Holl. 75; S.M.S. 71)
Size: 23.7 × 18.6 cm
1514

Engraving, watermark Bishop’s Crest (M. 39), a good early meder ii impression, with the scratch in the sphere probably erased, still printing clearly and with contrasts, trimmed to or just outside the subject, a horizontal printer’s crease at centre right, a few other minor printer’s creases, a 15 mm. repaired tear at the lower sheet edge, a horizontal central crease mainly visible verso, the sheet slightly cockled due to remains of old adhesive verso, otherwise in good condition. So much has been written to explain this mysterious image that there is little point in adding to it. The speculation it has provoked is seldom convincing, rather like writings about megaliths, ley-lines and the like. One detail is worth pointing out: the bottom line of the Magic Square has the numbers 4, 15, 14, 1. The date is 1514; the first letter of the alphabet is A, and the fourth is D.

Provenance: Rusu, purple stamp verso (not in Lugt).