Albrecht Durer (German 1471 - 1528)
Signed with initials in the plate 'AD' (lower middle)
4.1/4 x 3.1/8 in. (10.8 x 8 cm.) (excluding frame)
12.3/8 x 10.3/4 in. (31.4 x 27.4cm.) (including frame)
Stamped on the reverse 'AFD', from the ancient collection of A. Firmin-Didot
Date of creation: 1499
Notes: Meder-Hollstein 73; Strauss 25
Condition: Overall in good condition. Slight yellowing and surface dirt associated with age. The left edge has a little brown paper on the reverse possibly to reinforce, probably from a previous framing. Newly framed in a white mount and limed wood frame. A hole is cut to the reverse of the framing which shows the collector’s stamp behind Perspex. The glass on the front is specialized gallery glass for clarity of viewing.
Sol Justiciae depicts Jesus Christ as the Sun of Righteousness with a blazing face, seated on the back of a lion, and bearing a sword in one hand and scales in the other.
Dürer's introduction of classical motifs into Northern art, through his knowledge of Italian artists and German humanists, has secured his reputation as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance.
Dürer was born on 21 May 1471, third child and second son of his parents, who had at least fourteen and possibly as many as eighteen children. His father, Albrecht Dürer the Elder, was a successful goldsmith. Albrecht Dürer established his reputation and influence across Europe when he was still in his twenties due to his high-quality woodcut prints. He was in communication with the major Italian artists of his time, including Raphael, Giovanni Bellini and Leonardo da Vinci, and from 1512 he was patronized by Emperor Maximilian I.
Having been examined by Christie’s it has become apparent that this example has been “silhouetted” (the printed area has been cut out and set into another border at a later date). This was due to damage centuries ago but the print is sufficiently precious to have been in the hands of Colnaghi’s, the oldest and most prestigious gallery in the world at the time. It was also in the ancient collection of A Firmin Didot and bears the collector’s stamp on the reverse.
The print presents amazingly well but due to the restoration the price has been reduced accordingly. It now represents excellent value for money and early prints like this are only accruing in value in the current market.