Jul 25, 2006

The Life of Christ: The Nativity

The Life of Christ: The Nativity

c. 1480–90

Martin Schongauer

(German, c.1450–1491)


John L. Severance Fund by exchange and Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland in memory of William Mathewson Milliken 1978.85

Catalogue raisonné: Lehrs V.46.4; TIB 0801.5



Martin Schongauer was among the first artists to work extensively in engraving to create series on the life of Christ and the saints. Here, he portrayed the Virgin, clothed in elaborate drapery, gazing upon her newborn son in a simple setting. To produce this work, Schongauer carved directly into a copper plate, creating depth and tonal variation using a system of crosshatching and parallel lines. His technical skill was admired by a young Albrecht Dürer, who later depicted the same subject.

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