MASTER of the Playing Cards
(active 1435-1450 in the Upper Rhine)

King of Wild Men

c. 1440
Engraving, 133 x 89 mm
Kupferstichkabinett, Dresden

The King of the Wild Men is a good example of the Master of the Playing Cards's work. The stocky, hairy man-creature of the forest, the brunt of much coarse humour, is superbly characterised in the short, sketchy strokes describing his rough contours and textures. The origin of the Master in the goldsmith's art are evident in the precise rendering of the plants in the foreground, where they appear more like intricate designs for jewelry than natural details of a rustic setting.




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