Woodcut series: Life of the Virgin (1511)
by Albrecht DÜRER

In 1511, Dürer returned to an increased study of printed graphics. Interactions between his paintings and graphics at this time as well as the experiences Dürer had gained on his second Italian journey are apparent in large-scale woodcuts such as the Holy Trinity and sheets from the Life of the Virgin. It is significant that Dürer turned to making series of woodcuts, such as the Small Passion and the Great Passion, the Life of the Virgin which Dürer published in 1511 in book form with poetry by the Benedictine monk Benedictus Chelidonius, and a new edition of the Apocalypse. In total, he produced nearly 90 woodcuts, some of which were very large in size, and these must have been very influential and ensured that the artist enjoyed a certain degree of financial independence from then on.

A development in form and graphic treatment discernible in the series The Life of the Virgin gives more aid in dating them than is to be found in the Apocalypse, a series more compact and less differentiated in style. The illustrations below follow the contents of the story, as told in the edition in book form of 1511.

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Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Life of the Virgin: Title-page in book form
before 1511
Woodcut
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich

650*1021
Grayscale
127 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 1. Refusal of Joachim's Offer
1504
Woodcut, 291 x 209 mm
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich

650*887
Grayscale
128 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 2. The Angel Appering to Joachim
1505
Woodcut
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich

650*910
Grayscale
148 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 3. The Meeting of Joachim and Anne at the Golden Gate
1504
Woodcut
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich

650*908
Grayscale
188 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 4. The Birth of the Virgin
1503
Woodcut
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich

650*913
Grayscale
138 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 5. The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple
1504-05
Woodcut
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich

650*922
Grayscale
133 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 6. Marriage of the Virgin
c. 1504
Woodcut, 29 x 21 cm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

650*894
Grayscale
181 Kb



Life of the Virgin:7. The Annunciation
1500-02
Woodcut
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

650*894
Grayscale
168 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 8. The Visitation
1503
Woodcut
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich

650*907
Grayscale
184 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 9. The Adoration of the Shepherds. (The Nativity)
1504-05
Woodcut
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich

650*909
Grayscale
180 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 10. The Circumcision of Christ
1505
Woodcut
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

650*898
Grayscale
126 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 11. The Adoration of the Magi
1501-02
Woodcut
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

650*905
Grayscale
136 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 12. The Presentation of Christ in the Temple
1505
Woodcut
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

650*901
Grayscale
173 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 13. The Flight into Egypt
1503
Woodcut
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

650*906
Grayscale
197 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 14. The Rest during the Flight to Egypt
1504-05
Woodcut
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

650*905
Grayscale
125 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 15. Christ among the Doctors in the Temple
1503
Woodcut
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

650*895
Grayscale
169 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 16. Christ Taking Leave of his Mother
c. 1505
Woodcut
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

650*914
Grayscale
128 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 17. The Death of Mary
1510
Woodcut, 293 x 206 mm
Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe

650*908
Grayscale
178 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 18. The Coronation of the Virgin
1510
Woodcut
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

650*908
Grayscale
188 Kb



Life of the Virgin: 19. The Virgin Worshipped by Angels and Saints
c. 1500
Woodcut
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich

650*893
Grayscale
182 Kb




Summary of woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer
1489-1500 | 1501-10 | 1511-20| 1521-28
Apocalypse (1497-98)
The Large Passion (1497-1500)
Life of the Virgin (1511)
The Small Passion (1511)
The Triumphal Arch (1515)
graphic works | paintings