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Die wunderbare Sau von Landser (The Monstrous Sow of Landser)

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Albrecht Dürer, Die wunderbare Sau von Landser (The Monstrous Sow of Landser), ca. 1496, engraving on beige antique laid paper, The Mark Adams and Beth Van Hoesen Art Collection, public domain, 2007.59.2

Albrecht%20D%26%23252%3Brer%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Die%20wunderbare%20Sau%20von%20Landser%20%28The%20Monstrous%20Sow%20of%20Landser%29%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%20ca.%201496%2C%20engraving%20on%20beige%20antique%20laid%20paper%2C%20The%20Mark%20Adams%20and%20Beth%20Van%20Hoesen%20Art%20Collection%2C%20public%20domain%2C%202007.59.2

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Details
Title

Die wunderbare Sau von Landser (The Monstrous Sow of Landser)

Artist

Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528)

Date

ca. 1496

Medium

engraving on beige antique laid paper

Catalogue Raisonné

Meder 82 a (of h)

Dimensions (H x W x D)

plate: 4 3/4 in x 5 in

Inscriptions & Markings

signature: AD, in plate, lower center

Collection Area

Graphic Arts

Category

Prints

Object Type

intaglio print

Culture

German

Credit Line

The Mark Adams and Beth Van Hoesen Art Collection

Accession Number

2007.59.2

Copyright

public domain

Terms

Animalia

engraving

intaglio printing

intaglio prints

laid paper

The Mark Adams and Beth Van Hoesen Art Collection

Location

Belluschi Building

Hirsch Wing

Lower Level

Helen Copeland Gallery

Description

Created when the artist was only twenty-five years old, this print depicts an infamous news story of the day. On March 1, 1496, a strange sow (female pig) was born in the Austrian province of Sundgau. The pig was described to have "one head, four ears, two bodies, eight feet on six of which it stood, and two tongues." While Dürer never saw the piglet, as it died shortly after birth, he learned of its existence from contemporary accounts.

Unusual natural occurrences, such as the birth of the monstrous sow, were at the time believed to be a sign of significant, even apocalyptic, events. Rather than focusing on the religious or negative associations with the birth, Dürer attempted to depict a naturalistic image of the bizarre creature.

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