(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)
Lamentation over Christ (No. 12)1507
Engraving, 115 x 71 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Sheet No. 12 of the Engraved Passion.
Also called Descent from the Cross, this is the first of Dürer's engravings after his return from Italy. It is not yet appreciably different in style from those of 1504/05. The Lamentation over Christ is the earliest of the plates of the Engraved Passion and considerably weaker than the other subjects of that series. It suffers from Dürer's preoccupation during this period with the arrangement of limbs. The position of Christ's legs is similar to that of the Infant Christ's in the painting The Brotherhood of the Rosary. Dürer could not have thought of an entire series of Passion subjects at that time, otherwise he would have begun with the Agony in the Garden. In contrast to the other subjects which were to follow, the background of this engraving is white.