‘Three Northern Masters’ celebrates the graphic work of three of the pre-eminent artists working in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Northern Europe, Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Lucas van Leyden (1494-1533) and Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606-1669) . All three artists were extremely innovative and masters of their mediums, with Dürer’s development of engraving and Rembrandt’s experimentation with etching and drypoint arguably remaining unsurpassed.
Van Leyden pushed the limits of engraving in a different manner to Dürer, by delicately working his printing plates to result in images which often have a silvery and subtle tonal modulation. The early and richly printed set of the seven Virtues (lot 14) is extremely rare, and showcases the influence of his Northern and Italian contemporaries Dürer and Marcantonio Raimondi.
The sale is led by a fine and richly printed impression of Dürer’s large-scale engraving Nemesis (lot 13), which is a tour-de-force of Dürer’s technical skill and theological learning, to produce what has been described as a humanist, secular rendering of the Apocalypse.
A further highlight is Rembrandt’s Christ healing the Sick (lot 20), also known as 'The Hundred Guilder Print', attesting to the desirability of this print even during Rembrandt’s lifetime. Although Dürer had experimented with the technique of etching in the early sixteenth-century, it wasn’t until a century later that Rembrandt mastered the medium’s full capabilities.
With estimates ranging from £500 to £50,000 there is much to discover amongst these graphic works from three of the greatest artists from the Northern Renaissance and Dutch Golden Age.Take virtual tour >
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