Knot with a Heart-Shaped Shield, from The Six Knots
27.2 cm x 21.1 cm (10 11/16 in. x 8 5/16 in.)
(Nuremberg, Germany, 1471 - 1528, Nuremberg, Germany)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Dürer produced six variations of this kind of ornament design, which the artist referred to as “knots.” The designs are literal woodcut copies of engravings thought to have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci and executed to by his followers. Although the practical function of these designs remains unclear, they may have been intended as embroidery designs or purely as a kind of decorative puzzle. While Dürer rarely copied other artist’s works so directly, such a complex and challenging design must have been hard to resist for an artist with such relentless curiosity.