Jun 1, 2006

The Virgin and Child with the Pear

The Virgin and Child with the Pear


Albrecht Dürer

(German, 1471–1528)


Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland in honor of William Mathewson Milliken 1959.7

Catalogue raisonné: Meder 33b



Dürer portrays the Virgin and Child on an outing away from the city in this relatively casual moment in which they rest beside a tree. As the Christ child looks directly toward the viewer to bestow a blessing, his young mother tries to redirect his attention to the pear in her hand. Here, Dürer emphasizes the natural actions of a mother trying to distract her child. Although Mary knows his holy mission and tragic destiny, she still attempts to prolong her child’s joyful youth with innocent amusements. Dürer demonstrates his further technical and artistic development in this medium through the subtle overall tonality he achieved with light and shadow, particularly in the sky and Mary’s clothing.

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