- Museum number
Study of a rock-face, showing different strata of rocks.
Watercolour and bodycolour, over black chalk
Verso: Slight sketch of rocks
- Production date
- 1496-1497 (circa)
Height: 225 millimetres
Width: 287 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This detailed study of a rock-face relates to two other studies that Dürer made in a quarry near Nuremberg, possibly in the Schmansenbuch on the outskirts of the city (formerly at Bremen, and Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana; Strauss 1495/50 and 1495/51). He would have referred to drawings such as these when he designed the detailed rock-face in the background of his engraving, St Jerome in Penitence (Meder 57) of about 1496-7. A similarly close interest in the structure of rock formation is seen in his alpine landscapes, particularly the 'View of Arco' (Paris, Louvre; Strauss 1495/31) and the 'Alpine Road' discovered by Hermann Beenken in the Escorial in 1928 (Strauss 1495/42). The slight sketch on the verso probably represents the beginnings of another study of rocks.
The position of the monogram and date on part of the drawing instead of the blank sheet underneath, and the very careful, stylised structure with the double outlines (not dissimilar to the monograms used by Hans Hoffmann in his Dürer copies) suggest that this inscription was applied by a late sixteenth-century admirer of Dürer.
Lit from J. Rowlands, 'Drawings by German Artists and Artists from German-speaking regions of Europe in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum: the Fifteenth Century, and the Sixteenth Century by Artists born before 1530', London, BM Press, 1993, no. 126: : Waagen, Treasures, i, p. 231, no. 166; Hausmann, Naumann's Archiv, p. 41, no. 166; Hausmann, p. 111, no. 142; Ephrussi, p. no; Thausing, i, p. 127; Lippmann, part xxiii, p. 7, no. 238, repr. recto; Haendcke, p. 29; L. Klebs, Repertorium, xxx, 1907, p. 415; W. v. Seidlitz, Prussian Jahrbuch, xv, 1907, p. 8; Conway, p. 22, no. 353; BM Guide, 1928, no. 212; Tietze, i, p. 125, no. A 124, repr. recto; Flechsig, Dürer, ii, pp. 67, 141; Winkler, Dürer, i, pp. 82f., no. no, repr. recto; Panofsky, ii, p. 134, no. 1394; Winkler, Leben, p. 72; Rowlands, Dürer, p. 7, no. 20; Koschatzky, no. 19, repr. recto; J. Rowlands, Zeitschr. f. Kunstwiss, xxv, 1971, pp. 46ff., repr. verso; Strauss, i, p. 236, no. 1494/19, repr. recto; BM Dürer and Holbein, pp. 67-68, no. 41, repr. recto'
Additional lit: G.Bartrum. 'Albrecht Dürer and his Legacy', exhibition catalogue, London, British Museum, 2002, no. 45; Gary D. Rosenberg, 'The measure of man and landscape in the Renaissance and Scientific Revolution', in The Geological Society of America, Memoir 203, 2009, p.25; D.Hess and T.Eser (ed) 'Der frühe Dürer', exhibition catalogue, Nuremberg Germanisches Nationalmusuem, 2012, p.392, no 90
For conservation reasons, prior permission is required to view this drawing in the Study Room. Please contact email@example.com
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1928 BM London, Guide Woodcuts, Drawings of A. Dürer, no. 212
1958 Apr, BM, Eight centuries of landscape ... water-colours, case 15
1960 BM, Sloane Drawings, (no cat.)
1971 BM, 'Dürer', no.20
1988 Jul-Oct, BM, 'Age of Dürer & Holbein', no.41
1997 Mar-Jun, London, National Gallery,'Dürer, St.Jerome'
2002/3 Dec-Mar, BM, 'Dürer and his Legacy', no. 45
2003 Sep-Dec, Vienna, Albertina, 'Albrecht Dürer', no.26
2012 23 May- 2 Sept, Nuremberg, Germ. Nationalmuseum, Early Dürer.
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: C,07.166