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Saturday, 21 April 2012

Behold the Man - Durer's Depiction of the Passion of Jesus Christ

Albrecht Durer ( 1471 – 1528 ) was an extremely talented person who produced many wood cuts, engravings, and paintings as well as publishing books on mathematics. For more information about his life and work see .

Many of his works of art have been produced on stamps such was his skill and appeal. Most of you are familiar with his “praying hands” and his “rabbit”. Here I simply present examples of his work produced on Easter stamps.

His masterpieces on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ include the thirty-seven woodcut subjects of what is known as his “Little Passion”, first published in 1511, and the fifteen small engravings on the same theme published in 1512. The use of his art on stamps is not just restricted to these, however.

It seems to me that Durer's works appeal so much because his artistry shows such emotion and humanity. The whole Easter scene, not just the human form, has a very natural quality. Here is humanity and the world in the raw. One feels he knows and shows just what it was like for Jesus. The image of the face and the muscles on the body reveal how it felt for Jesus and for the onlooker. The images are not titivated with a royal touch. It is humanity through and through. With the Passion the emotions range from outright horror to a total loving empathy with the person of Christ, condemned, suffering, dying and dead. Only later comes the relief with the rising from the tomb.

Durer believed Christ's passion to be the greatest subject for an artist. He returned to the subject no less than six times in his career.

The Betrayal

The Crucifixion

The Deposition

The Resurrection

The Entry Into Jerusalem

Christ Washing Peter's Feet

The Crucifixion

Christ at Emmaus

Jesus Bearing The Cross

Christ On The Cross

The Lamentation For Christ

Images of Durer's woodcuts/engravings can be found through links at You can even send e-postcards.

1 comment:

  1. how i wish to have these set...