(active 1450-1467 Upper Rhine)

Man of Sorrows between Four Angels

c. 1460
Copper engraving, 151 x 113 mm
Kupferstichkabinett, Dresden

The standing Redeemer with crown of thorns and cross-shaped nimbus shows the wounds in his side and his hands and feet. The angels placed symmetrically around him carry some of the instruments of the Passion: the cross, the Flagellation column, the lance and the sponge, the scourge and nails. The figures are placed in a cool and desolate landscape. This print by Master E.S. was most copied by other engravers including Israhel van Meckenem, but also in miniatures and in paintings.

Characteristic of Master E.S. is the soft, dancing movement and long fingers of his figures, while the heads, especially of his female figures, tilt over onto one shoulder. The master must have made more than five hundred different engravings, including a large number of ornamental prints, which points to his prior activities as a goldsmith. He was the first to apply the technique of crosshatching to engraving. The Man of Sorrows between four angels, one of his best works, epitomises the master's sense of proportion in the human body and his skill in suggesting sculptural volume. Master E.S. not only influenced engravers in Germany but also in the Netherlands.