DÜRER, Albrecht
(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)

The Great Courier

c. 1495
Engraving, 100 x 113 mm
Kupferstichkabinett, Dresden

Earlier doubts have given way to the opinion that this is Dürer's first experimental engraving since a drawing was found at Danzig (presently Gdansk in Poland) which apparently served as the model for this subject. This drawing is inscribed by Dürer: This was drawn by Wolfgang Peuer in the year 1484. Nothing else is known about Peuer. He may have been an apprentice or an assistant in the goldsmith's shop of Dürer the Elder or in the workshop of Dürer's teacher, the painter Michael Wolgemut.

The watermark of the paper used for the printing of this engraving, "Cardinals's Hat," was used by Dürer infrequently beginning in 1507. It was also used for the posthumous edition of Dürer's book Unterweisung der Messung (Instructions on measurement). The rarity of this print, as well as the watermark, suggests that the remaining impressions (Dresden, Melbourne, Paris aand Vienna) are posthumous.