Durer's St Jerome etching to star at Swann Auction Galleries



2015-06-26 13:14:42

Durer's St Jerome etching to star at Swann Auction Galleries

St Jerome in his Study, a 1514 etching by Albrecht Durer, could bring $180,000 to Swann

A 1514 etching by German painter, engraver and print-maker Albrecht Durer could bring $180,000 to Swann Auction Galleries on May 1. Durer's St Jerome in his Study depicts St Jerome (c.AD347-420)- a Bible scholar known for the Vulgate, his revised Latin translation of both new and old testaments - engrossed in his studies.

Albrecht Durer engraving auction St Jerome is typically pictured with his lion companion

He is characteristically presented with his cardinal's hat and lion companion (a friendship cemented when St Jerome removed a splinter from the lion's paw).

Symbols of death and eternal life, such as a skull, an hourglass and a crucifix, also colour the image, suggesting Durer's dual admiration for divine and secular knowledge.

The engraving is in excellent condition, exhibiting strong contrasts between the light and dark elements of the composition. All the fine lines are distinct which is rare for an engraving of this age.

Although multiples of this image would have been produced by Durer during the 1500s, tremendously few still survive today. A similarly rare and early print by the artist, The Dream of the Doctor, sold for 33,850 at Sotheby's London in July 2001.

Engravings of the calibre of thepresent lot seldom come to market.

Limited edition prints are generally considered "second tier" art investments. Yet with millionaires increasingly priced out of the fine art market, more and more investors are buying into these markets, pushing up values.

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