Christ Before Caiaphas

Christ Before Caiaphas
Durer Albrecht Christ Before Caiaphas from 'The Small Passion' c. 1508-1510 B. 29; M. 138 5 3/16" x 4" Woodcut on laid paper with narrow margins and a partial watermark. Signed in the block with the monogram of the artist lower left. Collector's stamp of Joseph-Marius Agassis (Lugt 69) on the verso. One of thirty-six woodcuts from the Small Passion. An impression from the 1511 Latin text edition. Originally Durer illustrated the cycle with the text by Benedict Schwalbe (Benedict Chelidonius) who died in 1521. Benedict was also a friend of Willibald Pirckheimer (who was Durer's life-long friend) and a Benedictine theologian from a nearby monastery. The Small Passion cycle is Durer's longest series of woodcuts and the best known of his series during the sixteenth century. The woodcuts were designed with a simpler more direct treatment of subjects and they were executed in a more uniform style. Two woodcuts B. 32 and B. 37 are dated 1509 and two other woodcuts B. 18 and B. 38 bear the date 1510. Joseph surnamed Caiaphas: the Jewish high priest between 18 and 37 CE best known for his role during the trial of Jesus of Nazareth. As high priest Caiaphas was chairman of the high court (Sanhedrin). After the Temple guard had arrested Jesus of Nazareth Caiaphas organized a hearing and accused him of blasphemy. Because Jesus could not (or refused to) refute the accusation the high priest handed him over to the Roman authorities who found him guilty of treason (i.e. claiming to be king of the Jews). Thirty-five of the wood blocks of the Small Passion cycle were acquired by the British Museum in 1839. The frontispiece The Man of Sorrows (B.16 Meder) is the only wood block that is not in existence.
Christ Before Caiaphas
Dürer, Albrecht
5 1/4" x 4 "
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