Dürer's Life of the Virgin on view at the Clark This Fall

For Immediate Release

September 10, 2004

This fall, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute will exhibit the famous print series Life of the Virgin by German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528). The celebrated group of 20 woodcuts, published by the master printmaker in 1511, features scenes from Mary's life. The works on view, which will include the entire Life of the Virgin cycle as well as related prints by Dürer, are drawn from the extensive collection of the Clark, which holds a nearly complete representation of Dürer's vast body of prints. Albrecht Dürer: Life of the Virgin will be on view October 9 through January 2.

The Dürer exhibition is offered in connection with the exhibition Medieval Mystery: Who Is the Master of the Embroidered Foliage, which features paintings depicting the Virgin and Child.

Albrecht Dürer was one of the great masters of the Renaissance in Germany, and is renowned for his virtuosity as a printmaker. He elevated the arts of woodcut and engraving to new heights of technical and artistic sophistication. Dürer's work often focused on religious imagery, including famous series of prints depicting the Passion and the Apocolypse. He created and sold individual sheets as early as 1502 before publishing the book of 20 woodcuts that make up the Life of the Virgin in 1511. The prints include Birth of the Virgin, Betrothal of the Virgin, The Visitation, Flight into Egypt, Christ Taking Leave of his Mother, and Death of the Virgin.

In addition to the 1511 series, the exhibition features other works by Dürer that depict Mary, including The Holy Family with Three Hares  (1497), and The Virgin and Child Crowned by Two Angels. Also on view are a selection of prints by the notorious copyist Marcantonio Raimondi, an Italian printmaker who copied Dürer's designs for Life of the Virgin and sold them as originals in Venice.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Gallery admission is $10 (members, students, and 18 and under free) through October 31. From November 1 through May 31, admission is free. For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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