The front of this handsome oak credenza, or sideboard, is divided into halves by three pilasters. Each half is outfitted with a drawer and a door below. The decorative and functional components are artfully arranged across the front of the piece to form a balanced composition of repeated geometric shapes and harmonious proportions.
The Italian word "credenza" derives from the medieval Latin "credentia" (loosely translated as "security given"). The word refers to a centuries-old practice favored by lords and ladies accustomed to the treacheries of court intrigue. Food brought from the kitchen was first set on a credenza (or sideboard) near the dining table where it was tasted by a servant to protect the nobles from poisoning by their enemies.
A composition with a heraldic motif: a rooster standing on top of a helmet with visor and throat guard, below which is a sheld or other carving with a rampant lion. Surrounding on either side is vigorous foliage (acanthus leaves).
Dürer's great ability to differentiate textures and materials is evident in this work that captures feather, leaves, and metal.
A group of figures at the left stand in a vaulted space under a cross. They look towards the lower right of the composition where a man holding a standard with a cross on top is bending forward and offering his hand to an old bearded man in an arched doorway. Above the doorway are several fantastical figures with beaked or animal heads and arms with claws.
After his death and before the Resurrection, Christ descended into Hell to bring out righteous people who had lived before him, including Adam and Eve, Moses, and other Old Testament prophets. Here Christ holds a standard in his left hand while he brings out of hell one of these patriarchs with his right hand. Other redeemed figures look on as the man at the lower right is released from Hell.
A man seated on a throne under a canopy at the right looks toward a group of standing figures at the left. A group of soldiers in helmets and armor and spears surround a tall bearded man who stands looking at the seated official. In the distance is a view of a town in a landscape and at the feet of the seated man is a dog.
After his arrest, Christ was taken to several authorities in Jerusalem, including Pontius Pilate and Caiaphas, the high priest and member of the Sanhedrin where Christ underwent beatings and questioning. The scene Dürer portrayed was the moment of Caiaphas' outrage when Christ, asked by Caiaphas if he is the Messiah, answers, "You have said so."
A group of four men gently lower a figure into a tomb that is placed parallel to the viewer. To the left is a group of mourners with hands clasped or holding a covered jar. Behind the figures is a rocky landscape with a fence and guard at the gate in the distance at the left. In the rocks of the foreground is a dark opening. At the lower right corner is a circle composed of thorny branches.
After his crucifixion, Christ was buried in a tomb by his followers. The evidence of his Passion can be seen in the wounds in his hand and feet and in the crown of thornes at the foot of the tomb. The Virgin and St. John stand watching while other mourners sit at the far left.
A crowd of men, rendered as a dense mass of bodies and faces that bristles with pikes and spears, gather before a porch attached to an ornately decorated stone building. A bearded man, wearing rich dress and a turban leans over the balustrade of the porch toward the crowd with his arms outstretched and his hands open as he turns his head to look at the man standing beside him. This sorrowful figure wears only a crown of thorns and a long robe that is partly opened by the man standing behind him to reveal his lean body flecked with drops of sweat or blood.
This woodcut print depicts the episode from Christ's passion known as the "Ecce Homo," or "Behold the man," the words with which Pontius Pilate presented Christ after he had been beaten to the crowd gathered at his palace (John 19:5). Christ, naked except for the crown of thorns and a long robe, appears on a porch next to the turbaned figure of Pilate, who extends his hands toward the crowd in a gesture of presentation as he turns to look at Christ. The crowd, a dense mass of bodies and faces, bristles with menace.
This pair of finely carved bust-length figures depicts two men in ecclesiastical garb. On the right appears an older figure who wears elaborate vestments and a papal tiara with a book in his left hand. His deeply lined and wrinkled face conveys a patient wisdom and authority as he stares directly ahead. His more youthful companion, dressed in a simpler collared robe and brimless cap, glances introspectively aside. He grasps an unfurled scroll in his left hand and a diminutive lion stares out from its perch on his left shoulder.
This pair of bust-length figures represents an aged Saint Gregory the Great crowned with a papal tiara and a younger Saint Jerome with a miniature lion, his usual attribute, resting on his shoulder. Due to the fundamental importance of their writings in Catholicism they came to be known as Doctors of the Church, and these two busts probably appeared alongside busts of the other two doctors, Saints Ambrose and Augustine, in the base of an elaborate carved altarpiece.
Designs for bases, pitchers, capitals, lecturns, and wall brackets are scattered across the sheet. Most are quickly sketched and elaborate on the theme of scrolling designs.
This sheet contains a variety of quick designs for a variety of decorative objects: brackets and consoles, vases, capital, furniture. There is an interconnectedness in the designs based on tight scrolling features (brackets, handles, volutes in the capital) and how that is applied to different materials and functions.