Jun 15, 2006

The Offer of Love (or the Ill-Assorted Couple)

The Offer of Love (or the Ill-Assorted Couple)


Albrecht Dürer

(German, 1471-1528)


Platemark: 15 x 13.9 cm (5 7/8 x 5 1/2 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Prasse Collection 1972.309

Catalogue raisonné: Meder 77

State: I/III



Dürer’s early engraving of "unequal lovers" plays on a prevalent theme in northern European art in which a young woman seduces a much older man in order to steal his money. Dürer departed from standard representations of the subject and portrayed the male figure in his engraving as a willing participant, paying for the services he’s about to receive. Although scenes of unequal lovers often carry moralizing messages about the dangers of women, the idyllic setting of this image and the seemingly familiar transaction between prostitute and patron suggest a more complex situation beyond simple carnal desire.

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

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