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Indelible images

Students get up close and personal with Renaissance master at Hood Museum of Art

Inspired by his first-hand examination of Albrecht Dürer's prints in Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History Jane Carroll's "Northern Renaissance Art" class last spring, Peter Verovsek '06 recently brought fellow members of the German Club to the Hood Museum of Art to experience for themselves these rare and famous works. The students looked at nearly half of the 44 Dürer prints in the museum's collection, learned about his life and times and his printmaking techniques.

German club members view the Hood's collection of prints by Albrecht Dürer
German club members including Rachel Wixom '06 (in orange) and Peter Verovsek '06 (center) view the Hood's collection of prints by Albrecht Dürer. Any student may request to view works not currently on display.

These prints "represent the pinnacle of Dürer's skill as a printmaker, and their complex iconography has made them a subject of fascination and debate for almost five centuries," said Bart Thurber, the Hood's curator of European art. "They provide a feast of motifs and visual details to stimulate discussion and astonish the eye."

Verovsek is co-vice president of the German Club. "I was captivated by the beauty, precision and symbolism in Dürer's work, and I knew it was an experience not to be missed," he said. "I hope the students who participated were inspired to broaden their academic horizons by taking an art history class. Most importantly, I hope that students will spread the word about the Hood's amazing collection and take the time to explore the great works Dartmouth has."


Albrecht Dürer's engraving on laid paper, "Knight, Death, and Devil" (1513). Gift of Jean K. Weil in memory of Adolph Weil Jr. '35. (Image courtesy of the Hood)

Albrecht Dürer, born in Nuremberg in 1471, is generally regarded as the greatest German artist of the Renaissance. The son of a goldsmith, he began by producing woodcuts for book illustrations, and by the time of his death in 1528, his fame and reputation as an engraver, painter and art theorist had spread across Europe.

The Hood's collection of Dürer prints was significantly enhanced in 1997 through the gift of fourteen woodcuts and engravings from Jean K. Weil in memory of Adolph Weil Jr. '35. Among these was a complete proof set of the "Large Passion," a confident and ambitious achievement begun in 1497 and concluded in 1510-11. The works' intricate hatching and crosshatching established a new style in woodcutting.

Any student may request to examine works of art from the Hood's vast collection of 65,000 objects that are not currently on display by contacting the museum's Office of the Registrar at cynthia.a.gilliland@dartmouth.edu. Descriptions and some images are accessible through the Hood's Web site.

PHOTO BY JOSEPH MEHLING '69

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Last Updated: 12/17/08