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

Sudarium Displayed by Two Angels

Engraving, 102 x 140 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Dürer mentions this engraving in his diary of the journey to the Netherlands on two occasions, August 19 and August 20, 1520, when he gave copies away as presents. He refers to it as "Veronicam." It is one of the very few Dürer engravings in horizontal format. It is the crowning representation of the Passion series. The new face of Christ, created by Dürer, appears here in its purest form. The features of the Saviour bear an unmistakable resemblance to Dürer's own. Definitely heraldic in character, the angels are balanced with almost perfect symmetry, yet subtly differentiated in pose and gesture. The Holy Face fastens its eyes on the beholder with hypnotic intensity. The likeness of Christ served as the basis for a large woodcut sometimes attributed to Hans Sebald Beham.