This artwork can now be found at the Staatliche Museen in Berlin and was originally completed in 1495. It is sized at 42cm x 25cm.
It is very well known that Durer was passionate about nature, a quick glance at his extensive work with animals, insects and plants will confirm that much. Many of his other depictions were produced as watercolours with small additions of pen to bring out specific details.
This drawing has clearly been impacted over the past few hundred years and shows plenty of signs of wear and tear. This is common for small drawings which are much more fragile than a framed oil painting, for example. They also may not have received as much care due to the fast nature of their creation.
Many artists have travelled around in order to expand their knowledge and experience, and Durer travelled to Italy on several occasions. Study sketches are ideal for such scenarios, where an artist can carry all he needs relatively easily. William Turner, for example, would do much the same during his visits to Venice, then completing full oil paintings from his studio at a later date.
This artist would find, and depict, beauty in creatures which most others would instantly dismiss. Besides lobsters, he also took on stag beetles, crabs among many others. Perhaps he was genuinely intrigued by some of these and wanted to record them through his artistic records.