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Melancholia I, 1514

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© Konrad Liebmann Foundation, Stiftung Niedersachen, Germany; Used with permission

Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528). Melancholia I, 1514. Engraving. Approx. 9 1/2 x 7 3/8 in. (24 x 18.5 cm).

© Konrad Liebmann Foundation, Stiftung Niedersachen, Germany

Melancholia I (1514) by German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) is a large print full of complex symbolism. One of the four bodily humors in medieval thought, melancholy was associated with insanity as well as artistic prowess. In Dürer's work on paper, instruments of geometry, an exacting branch of mathematics in which the artist excelled, surround a downtrodden winged personification of the humor, perhaps a visual reference by the master to his own inability to realize perfection in design. In Albrecht Durer (1471-1528): Woodcuts and Engravings, the viewer is treated to a superb assortment of his graphic works from a remarkable German collection. Among those on display are a full set of woodcuts for his harrowing Apocalypse (1498) and Life of the Virgin (1511) series as well as individual sheets for Dürer's famous Knight, Death and the Devil (1512) and St. Jerome in His Study (1514), equally as enigmatic as his Melancholia I.

"Albrecht Durer (1471-1528): Woodcuts and Engravings" is on view from March 29 through May 27, 2007 at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, 900 South Berentania Street, Honolulu, HI 96814 (Telephone: 808-532-8712; Website). The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Admission is $7.00 for adults and $4.00 for seniors, students with valid identification card and members of the armed services. Children 12 years of age and under may visit the museum for free.

This picture comes from one of the many special art exhibitions available to you during Spring and early Summer of 2007. To view the full list of shows, please see this page.

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From your Guide: Stan Parchin, Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions, is a specialist in ancient, late-medieval and Renaissance art and history, and a regular contributor to About Art History. You may read all of his Special Exhibition and Catalogue Reviews here.
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