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Albrecht Dürer - Small xilographic Passion - Nuremberg, 1511 Facsimile Edition

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The Small Passion is one of the most famous works of Albrecht Dürer. Featuring woodcuts made as early as 1509, it was eventually published in a book by the artist himself in 1511.

An Incredible Masterpiece of Woodcuts

The work consists of 36 woodcut plates, the title page “Vir dolorum,” and the table “Christ on the Mount of Olives,” which was already repudiated by Dürer, but still included for documentation. The average size of the woodcuts is 128 x 96 mm, printed on sheets of 21 x 15 cm.

The original volume was completed with the comment to the tables of Philip Chelidonio. A few years after, Dürer sold the whole volume to the engraver Marcantonio Raimondi in Bologna, with whom Dürer then came into conflict, accusing him of plagiarism. Raimondi did use the tables to duplicate the woodcuts in etching. He also as copied other works – particularly the leaves of the Life of the Virgin – to sell them in the Italian and European market.

The Popularity of the Work

Such was the popularity of Dürer's work in the first decades of the 16th century that many artists used it as inspiration for their own works, like Romanino by Pontormo. It also inspired many German and Flemish illuminators like as Nicolaus Glockendon and Simon Bening.

The original drawings reappeared in Venice. On the initiative of the cartographer and engraver Donato Rasciotti, the work was reprinted by the publisher Venetian Daniele Bisuccio. It included a dedication to the Archduke of Austria, with a new title and with the new commentary in Italian by Maurizio Moro.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Albrecht Dürer - Small xilographic Passion - Nuremberg, 1511": Albrecht Dürer - La Piccola Passione xilografica - Norimberga 1511 facsimile edition, published by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte, 2011

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Albrecht Dürer - La Piccola Passione xilografica - Norimberga 1511

Modena: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte, 2011

  • Commentary (Italian) by Bini, M.
  • Limited Edition: 199 copies + 26 copies (A to Z)
  • This facsimile is not complete.

Taken from one of the rare examples of test printing in the 17th century, the facsimile edition of the work was  part of a private collection. It doesn't include the text by Maurizio Moro, but it has all the original woodcut apparatus: the title “Vir dolorum;” the 36 tablets of the Passion, preceded by two woodcuts dedicated to Progenitors in Eden; and the first version of the table “Christ on the Mount of Olives,” then repudiated by Dürer and replaced with the new one. The work is printed on Fabriano Gentile paper, and its format (21 x 15) and the number of pages (76 + VIII endpapers and imprint) are similar to the original.

The facsimile edition is supplemented with a volume about the life and works of Albrecht Dürer. The author and publisher, Mauro Bini, has retold the story of the artist of Nuremberg in an innovative way, depicting it as a long journey to the “modernity.”

Since his early years in Germany, the two journeys in Italy and Venice, and to his stay in Flanders in 1520-21, Dürer went to on to discover the new trends of the Renaissance and the new dimension of man and of scientific knowledge. In Anversa, capital of trade and balance of political world, he also discovered the new European bourgeois society.

Twenty-six copies of the Special Edition are signed from A to Z and reserved to Bulino's friends.


Leather with a frame on the plates engraved by Ancient Bookbinding Gozzi of Modena. Facsimile and its commentary kept in a brown silk box.

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approx US$ 1,073

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