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Durer and his legacy
Until her Death After Frederick Augustus Sandys (1832-1904)
Sandys (1832-1904) was a Pre-Raphaelite painter from Norwich who was particularly admired for his highly expressive wood-engravings, of which he designed twenty-five. The pious mood of the subject of Until her Death, in which a solitary religious vocation is contrasted with an early death in childbirth, is typical of the illustrations that appeared in Victorian magazines of the 1860s. Much of Sandys' work was influenced by early German and Netherlandish art, and this design is clearly inspired by Dürer's Melancholia.
In correspondence with the Dalziel Brothers, Sandys gives lengthy instructions on how he wishes the block for the print to be cut: 'Also the lines of the face I know not if they can be cut or if they will answer the end intended ... Please also to keep my lines quite thick as they are throughout the block ... Mind now, no Dürer's work.' This last comment indicates how much Sandys has separated his admiration of Dürer's subject from a disparaging view of the technique of woodcutting in Dürer's day.