Set of Albrecht Dürer’s “Apocalypse” woodcuts sold for $1.4 million Thursday, Nov 13 2008 

from Albect Dürer's "Apocalypse"

The National Gallery of Art has recently acquired a complete set of Albrecht Dürer’s 16 woodcuts illustrating the Apocalypse for $1.4 million. It is one of only a few surviving specimens of the 1498 edition. The New York Times article states the Swiss dealer August Laube as the seller.

The most famous woodcut of the Apocalipsis cum figuris (“Apocalypse with pictures”,”Die Heimliche Offenbarung Johannes”), which was published at the same time in Latin and in German, are the Four Horsemen, depicted here. For the first time, each of the woodcuts bears the famous AD monogram. Thirteen years later, Dürer produced a second edition, but it is apparently the first edition which causes Museum and Art Gallery directors to invest large sums of their budgets.

This website (in German) gives a fine overview of all 16 woodcuts along with some short commentaries.

Six pillows… Friday, Dec 7 2007 

Six pillows by Albrecht Dürer (1493).

… but not an etching. I wasn’t aware of this nice sketch by Albrecht Dürer before, so at first sight i thought: what a nice etching! But it’s indeed an ink drawing on paper he made in 1493 when he was 22 years old. This fine study is now in the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, new York.

In 2001, Andreas Friese translated these hatchings and cross-hatchings into a modern ASCII-Art version:

“I have been working on this for ages! It is by no means finished but I have to stop somewhere. Please note that you see here before your unbelieving eyes the Ascii representation of six pillows that were kicked and pushed into shape for a drawing more than 500 years ago.
Ah yes, and this is an “organic” product. Only myself, my Emacs and of course a book with the print of the original were used.”

Dürer used pillows in at least one other study: The “Studies of Self-Portrait, Hand and Pillow” from the same year.

Thanks to the “Your Daily Art Blog” for providing my first view ever of these six pillows…