This catalogue accompanies an exhibition dedicated to the influence of Italian art on Dürer's engraving. It presents a fascinating juxtaposition between prints, classical sculpture masterpieces from the Mantua collections, in the footsteps of Mantegna and Leonardo.
With two documented trips to Venice, once in 1494 and then again in 1506, we can only speculate on how many other Italian cities the German artist visited (Mantua? Milan?) as evidenced by his correspondence with Pirckheimer. The essays in the catalogue and the annotated entries on the engravings, which are mostly from the Vienna collection, confirm the acquisition of the studies on the role of antiquity and engravings by Andrea Mantegna during his studies in Nuremberg, as testified by the conception of Triumphs of Maximilian. The comparison with Jacopo de’ Barbari, the most prominent Venetian engraver of the time, is inevitable, different prints of the two artists are compared acknowledging the inspiration from Leonardo’s work. A section is dedicated to the evolution of portraits through the examination of notable examples. A rich collection of masterpieces reveals how Dürer’s engravings have been a source of inspiration for modern and contemporary artists such as Anselm Kiefer, with his dark and mysterious Melancholia.