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Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)

The Holy Family c.1495

RCIN 800057

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This depiction of the Virgin and Child with St Joseph is one of Dürer’s earliest prints. The Virgin and Child was a subject to which Dürer would return throughout his career. This is a fine early impression: the lines of the plate are still sharp and unworn and the ink tones are therefore very rich. The insect at bottom right may be a butterfly, a symbol of the Resurrection, to indicate the fate of the small child held in the Virgin’s arms.