Dürer, Albrecht: Druckplatte zu Christus am Ölberg

Staatsbibliothek Bamberg


Albrecht Dürer used the motif 'Christ on the Mount of Olives' as an etching in 1515, using a technique originally used by armourers and weapon etchers to decorate military show-pieces. Although this process made it possible to transfer the drawing into the iron sheet quickly and with little effort, the material prone to rust led to stained prints, probably one reason why only six iron etchings can be found in the artist's entire oeuvre. Dürer's only etching plate has been preserved in Bamberg. After the death of the art scholar and collector Joseph Heller (1798-1849), it became part of the holdings of the then still Königliche Bibliothek (Royal Library), which Heller had appointed as the sole heir to his estate in his will. He already provided information about the provenance in his publication 'Das Leben und die Werke Albrecht Dürer's' (Albrecht Durer's Life and Works) published in 1827. According to Heller, the Austrian painter Joseph Schöpf saved the plate from further processing by a blacksmith and later left it to the Innsbruck-based painter and copper etcher Johann Georg Schedler. Heller was able to acquire the plate during a trip. To this day, a coating gives the plate a golden yellow colour, probably so that it might be regarded as the work of a master 'equal to gold'. Datum: 2018


Franziska Ehrl

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