Considered one of the most technically brilliant and expressive pieces of printmaking, this copperplate engraving was produced by the Nürnberg artist Albrecht Dürer in 1513.

‘Knight, Death, and the Devil’ elevated this artist to a Renaissance master

A Christian knight confronts life's temptations in Albrecht Dürer's 1513 engraving, considered by many to be the pinnacle of printmaking.

Knight, death, and the devil

In 1513 artist Albrecht Dürer created an iconic print of a traveling knight confronted by the perils of the world.
Image courtesy of Alamy/ACI

Master of oil and watercolor painting as well as ink drawing, German artist Albrecht Dürer made his greatest impact in yet another medium: printmaking, which he elevated to a fine art through both woodcuts and copperplate engravings. In 1513 he made “Knight, Death, and the Devil,” the first of three intricate engravings that became known as his Meisterstiche, or master prints.

Born in Nürnberg (in modern-day Germany) in 1471, Dürer was profoundly influenced by his Italian Renaissance contemporaries, including Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci.

(Depictions of the devil terrified European Christians in the Middle Ages.)

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