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

The Deformed Landser Sow

c. 1496
Engraving, 121 x 126 mm
Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe

A deformed pig is standing on a rise above a river landscape. Its body is divided towards the back. Two front legs are sticking up out of its back. The Engraving was preceded by a leaflet by Sebastian Brant, which spread the news of the birth of a two bodied, eight legged, four eared and two tongued pig in Landser. Deformed animals such as these were interpreted as divine signs by the population, referring to the end of the world which was expected to take place in about 1500. In the course of the impending Turkish invasion, the leaflet and Engraving have also been interpreted as heralding the imminent supremacy of the heathens over the Christians, or more generally the rule of the Antichrist.