Promoter of all themes of images, Dürer realizes engravings on copper from 1496. The action is more direct : the burin of the goldsmith draws the line on the metal in the same way as a pencil is doing on the paper, unlike the chisel of the sculptor which digs in the wood the areas that will not be inked.
Copper engraving is preferred for the most prestigious editions. The drawing is thinner, allowing a better mastery of shadows and lights. Unfortunately the pressure exerted on the plate generates a wear which limits the quantity of high quality printing.
Prepared around 1501, Saint Eustace, 36 x 26 cm, is the largest image created by Dürer on copper. The hunter is seeing the crucified Christ between the antlers of the stag. This tale is an excellent support for the demonstration of the artist's know-how, staging a character in a landscape as well as various animals with superb anatomical details.
There is no doubt that Dürer created this work for promoting his art. The hunter dressed in the fashion of his time resembles the future emperor Maximilian. The landscape is inspired by Van Eyck and the overall composition is close to an illustration published by Koberger for the Legenda Aurea.
A lifetime copy of Dürer's Saint Eustace was sold for $ 720K including premium by Christie's in New York on January 29, 2013. Another one with the same watermark is listed in the same auction room on January 29, 2019, lot 30.
SOLD for $ 400K including premium