Knight, Death, and the Devil, 1513



Bequest of Herschel V. Jonesexpand_more  P.68.149

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A confident knight rides his horse through forbidding terrain, passing Death, who is dressed in white and rides a broken-down ass. To the right stands the Devil, with a pig’s snout, curling and spiky horns, dragon wings, and cloven hooves. Though the image is rich in possibilities for interpretation, Albrecht Dürer referred to it simply as “Der Reiter,” the horseman.

Dürer based the horse on ancient and Renaissance sculptures that he had seen during trips to Venice. Drawings related to the engraving reveal the difficulty the artist faced in his attempt to give the horse a convincing stride. Dürer disguised the original, awkward position of the horse’s right rear leg by transforming its engraved outlines into blades of grass.

Knight, Death, and the Devil
Artist Life
Accession Number
Baron Charles Marochetti (L. 392); L. Freiherr von Biegeleben (L. 385); Budapest Museum dup. (L. 2000).
Catalogue Raisonne
B.98; M.74 a/g; Holl 74; D.70
Curator Approved

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