The Engraved Passion (1507-1512)
by Albrecht DÜRER

The sixteen subjects of the Engraved Passion are not as uniform in character as Dürer's two woodcut Passions because their development is spread over a longer period of time. The more Italianate, three-dimensional character of the Lamentation (No. 12) of 1507 can be pointed out, as compared with the subjects of 1512, which are conceived like two-dimensional paintings. Dürer seeks out difficult problems, extreme foreshortenings, details of heads and bodies, effects of costumes, all features which are omitted from the woodcut versions. He is working for a different audience, for the intelligentsia. These engravings have an air of artificiality but are nevertheless quite powerful.

Without doubt, Dürer sold these sheets singly before the entire series was completed. The Man of Sorrows, the Bearing of the Cross and the Resurrection are particularly suitable for insertion into prayerbooks. For that reason these three subjects seem a little more dull in most complete sets. All sheets lack border lines. Dürer refers to the Engraved Passion on many occasions in the Diary of his trip to the Netherlands, 1520/21.

The series is presented here in the sequence of subjects, not in chronological order.

  1. Man of Sorrows
  2. Agony in the Garden
  3. Betrayal
  4. Christ before Caiaphas
  5. Christ before Pilate
  6. Flagellation
  7. Christ Crowned with Thorns
  8. Ecce Homo
  9. Pilate Washing His Hands
  10. Bearing of the Cross
  11. Crucifixion
  12. Lamentation
  13. Deposition
  14. Harrowing of Hell
  15. Resurrection
  16. St Peter and St John

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 8 minutes):
Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew Passion BWV 244 (excerpts)


Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Man of Sorrows by the Column (No. 1)
1509
Engraving, 116 x 75 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

507*824
Grayscale
101 Kb



Agony in the Garden (No. 2)
1508
Engraving, 115 x 71 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

504*799
Grayscale
78 Kb



Betrayal of Christ (No. 3)
1508
Engraving, 118 x 75 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

508*792
Grayscale
82 Kb



Christ before Caiaphas (No. 4)
1512
Engraving, 117 x 74 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

503*786
Grayscale
87 Kb



Christ before Pilate (No. 5)
1512
Engraving, 117 x 75 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

505*791
Grayscale
104 Kb



Flagellation (No. 6)
1512
Engraving, 118 x 74 mm
University Art Museum, Princeton

503*806
Grayscale
89 Kb



Christ Crowned with Thorns (No. 7)
1512
Engraving, 118 x 74 mm
University Art Museum, Princeton

504*812
Grayscale
82 Kb



Ecce Homo (No. 8)
1512
Engraving, 117 x 75 mm
University Art Museum, Princeton

506*807
Grayscale
80 Kb



Pilate Washing his Hands (No. 9)
1512
Engraving, 117 x 75 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

508*785
Grayscale
74 Kb



Bearing of the Cross (No. 10)
1512
Engraving, 117 x 74 mm
University Art Museum, Princeton

506*798
Grayscale
85 Kb



Crucifixion (No. 11)
1511
Engraving, 118 x 74 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

501*801
Grayscale
79 Kb



Lamentation over Christ (No. 12)
1507
Engraving, 115 x 71 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

504*820
Grayscale
91 Kb



Deposition (No. 13)
1512
Engraving, 117 x 74 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

504*794
Grayscale
104 Kb



Harrowing of Hell; or, Christ in Limbo (No. 14)
1512
Engraving, 117 x 73 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

500*775
Grayscale
90 Kb



Resurrection (No. 15)
1512
Engraving, 119 x 75 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

505*798
Grayscale
104 Kb



St Peter and St John Healing the Cripple (No. 16)
1513
Engraving, 118 x 74 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

509*805
Grayscale
98 Kb




Summary of engravings by Albrecht Dürer
1489-1499 | 1500-10 | 1511-19 | 1520-28
The Engraved Passion (1507-12)
graphic works | paintings