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

Madonna Crowned by an Angel

Engraving, 139 x 100 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

According to Dürer's diary he gave away this Virgin as a present on four occasions. It is not as decidedly in the new style, but nevertheless distinguished by the new accent on frontality, exemplified by the youthful, idealized head. A peculiar impression is created by the white face and the concentration of the light on the skirt. It seems almost as if the scene were illuminated by lightning - the wind-blown hair, the creeping clouds, the upswept drapery of the angel - and in these surroundings sits the Virgin, smiling even though empty of expression, quite serene and aristocratic, idealized in the style of ancient, mild beauty. It can be noted its abstract rigidity, exemplified by the stiffly erect posture and the angular drapery, in all of which it surpasses the Madonna Crowned by Two Angels.