Albrecht Dürer, Satyr Family, an engraving

AD 1505

The composition of Dürer's print is similar to two engravings by the Venetian printmaker Jacopo de' Barbari (1440/50 - before 1515), the Satyr Family and the Three Captives. It is unclear whether they were made before or after Durer's print, but it is possible that there was a period of reciprocal influence between the two artists between 1500 and 1505. The two prints of the Satyr Family are the forerunners of a long row of engravings of the subject by Italian artists, for whom it was an especially popular theme.

The maiolica dish (attributed to the 'Vulcan Painter', about 1510-13, see Other Views) is decorated with a scene that uses elements from Durer's print, though the maiolica painter has altered the satyr to a seated rather than a standing figure, losing much of the tension and central focus of the scene in the process. He has accentuated the satyr's goatish hairy legs and pointed ears, making this figure more grotesque.

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Albrecht Dürer, Satyr Family, an engraving

  • Maiolica dish: Satyr Family

    Maiolica dish: Satyr Family


More information


G. Bartrum (ed.), Albrecht Dürer and his legacy: (London and N.J., The British Museum Press and Princeton University Press, 2002)


Height: 116.000 mm (print)
Width: 71.000 mm
Diameter: 33.500 cm (dish)

Museum number

PD E.4-153;M&ME 1855.12-1,66


Bequeathed by the Revd. C.M. Cracherode (print)


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