Madonna with the Pear
15.9 cm x 10.6 cm (6 1/4 in. x 4 3/16 in.)
(Nuremberg, Germany, 1471 - 1528, Nuremberg, Germany)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1980
Dürer returned to the theme of the Virgin and Child throughout his career. Executed in 1511, this engraving is one of Dürer’s most curious and disconcerting treatments of the subject. Most striking is the contradiction of the tender, maternal scene between mother and child by the artist’s formal choices. The oppressive city gate towering above the viewer’s eye level; the Virgin’s off-center, twisting pose; and the contorted pattern of lines that compose the large tree: all induce a feeling of isolation that seems to portend Christ’s future suffering.