Sunday, August 14, 2016


By Ernest & Gregory Disney-Britton
500-year-old Albrecht Dürer engraving found in French flea market
The burning question at Alpha Omega Arts this week is where will Albrecht Dürer's work appear next? Last month, we announced exhibits of his prints at the Seattle Art Museum and The Hyde Collection in New York. And this week, we shared that his “Mary Crowned by an Angel” (above), engraved in 1520, was discovered at a flea market in France. So, who is this Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), and why is his work so highly prized? Dürer was a painter and printmaker whose reputation for high-quality woodcut prints was already well established when he was only in his twenties. Today museums and individual collectors continue to prize his work for the vision and intensity. So, instead of wondering where Albrecht Dürer will appear next, head out to your local museum and maybe you will discover him yourself.
Knight, Death and the Devil, 1513-1514, Albrecht Dürer, German, 1471- 1528, engraving, 9 5/8 × 7 1/2 in. Courtesy of the Seattle Art Museum.
When we web-searched the collection of our local art museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, we found 59 prints by Albrecht Dürer.  The website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art describes him as “a supremely gifted and versatile German artist of the Renaissance period,” and the Seattle Art Museum has placed him right alongside Rembrandt and Picasso. As a category of fine art, printmaking is one of the most accessible, and limited edition prints are highly collectible.
Albrecht Dürer, German, 1471-1528, Sudarium Held by Two Angels, 1513, engraving, 4 x 5 1/2 inches. Courtesy of The Hyde Collection.
Recently, when we attended Antiques Roadshow the line for appraisals of prints was longer than all six other lines combined (including paintings,  furniture, and jewelry). Prices for a Dürer print range according to quality and rarity, but according to, at least one Dürer print realized more than $800,000. You can also bid on for less sought-after prints for around $10,000.  If you’re like us, you may never own an $800,000 print by Albrecht Dürer, but if you visit his work in museums, you'll know what to look for at the next flea market.
Christ as "Salvator Mundi" (1505) by Albrecht Dürer. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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