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

House by a Pond

c. 1496
Watercolour and gouache on paper, 21 x 23 cm
British Museum, London

Dürer painted this watercolour soon after his return from Venice, probably in 1496. The site has been identified as a pond which was connected by a small canal to the River Pegnitz, near St John's Church on the outskirts of Nuremburg. The composition is based around the circular form of the pond, a shape echoed by the carefully-painted boat in the foreground. The dark threatening clouds of the evening sky contrast with the calm water and its reflections.

The watercolour is inscribed, `House by a Pond'. The tall house, set on an island, probably served as a look-out post and a summer retreat in peacetime. Two years later Dürer depicted the same house, in reverse, in the background of his engraving of The Madonna with the Monkey.