Christ Shown to the People Albrecht Durer Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Albrecht Durer is an artist who was active during the late 15th to 16th Century. He produced a wide range of work during his career which included paintings, engravings and prints. The image of Christ Shown to the People is part of a series known as The Small Passion.

Many of Durer's paintings and engravings return to the same subjects such as the birth of Christ and his life. The subject of this article is the 1511 version of Christ Shown to the People. The images portrayed in this work are of the figure of Christ being displayed from a raised window by soldiers. The timing seems to be just after the crucifixion as there are images of empty crosses to the top left of the picture. The Christ figure is wearing a 'crown of thorns' and is almost naked. The figures in the foreground appear to be disproportionate in size to the ones within the 'window'. Around ninety percent of the work is dominated by the building containing the Christ figure and the soldiers.

A stick or spear seems to have been stabbed into the stomach of the Christ figure. Armed men are to be seen throughout the picture. It seems that many of the onlookers are behaving in an aggressive manner towards the Christ figure. Others may display a 'mocking' expression. Albrecht Durer was able to produce his prints by first drawing his artwork and then passing it on to skilled craftsmen who he assiated and supervised in creating his wood engravings. The ability to produce print copies of his artwork provided him with a comfortable income which was not always the case for artists of that time. Financial reward was not the only benefit of producing the wood etchings as prints.

The process allowed much greater access to Durer's work by the less well-off who were able to obtain a print of his work while never being able to afford one of his paintings. To this end Durer was the first artist to obtain a press in order to produce prints. Paintings by Albrecht Durer were found only in the collections of the very wealthy. Durer's innovations in the production of prints from engravings were very influential upon many artists who followed his work in this field. Artists who followed his example and print style included Raphael and Titian among many more.