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

Virgin and Child on a Grassy Bench

Engraving, 115 x 71 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Except for The Four Witches, this is the first of Dürer's engravings to bear a date. Henceforth he dated them consistently. Vasari remarks that Dürer here "surpassed Martin Schongauer, as well as himself." This engraving, based on a preparatory drawing, is the most sensitive of the early Madonnas, quite in the convivial style of the Life of the Virgin woodcut series.

This engraving inspired the prints of the same theme by Jan Gossart and his contemporaries.