Sudarium Displayed by Two Angels, 1513

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The German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer was a legend in his own time. His prints, marked with his famous AD monogram, were known in every corner of Europe, and his virtuoso technical skill has never been equaled. We can trace only part of the journey of this magnificent engraving since it left Dürer's studio in Nuremberg in 1513. Collector's marks on back of the print indicate it was in the Netherlands in the 17th century, England in the late 19th, and Portland, Oregon, in the early 20th. It arrived in Minneapolis in 1916.

Scholars have noted that the face of Christ closely resembles Dürer's own; the intensity and sadness of his gaze are remarkable, even at this tiny scale. Dürer, who would become a Protestant sympathizer, executed this print just four years before Martin Luther posted his 95 theses in 1517, critiquing, among many things, the practice of granting indulgences for praying to images like the sudarium.

Sudarium Displayed by Two Angels
Artist Life
Accession Number
Prov. pen verso, Lugt 365 (formerly identified as Paul Behaim, confer Lugt 369); violet stamp verso, James Reiss (L. 1522)
Catalogue Raisonne
D.71; M.26; B.25,47; K.68
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

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