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Albrecht Dürer 1471-1528
The four horsemen of the Apocalypse
Woodcut, c.1497-8
Bequeathed by the Rev. R. E. Kerrich 1873

From the series of woodcuts first published in 1498 with the title The secret revelations of St John: the Apocalypse. German and Latin editions were issued, with letterpress printed on the back of each sheet using types provided by Anton Koberger. A second Latin edition was issued together with Dürer's other two large-sheet woodcut series, The large Passion and The life of the Virgin, in 1511. This is a proof without letterpress text on the back, printed before (or at the same time as) the earliest German and Latin editions. The subject is from the sixth chapter of the Book of Revelation: 'And I saw, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer... And there went out another horse that was red: and a power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword... And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand... And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.'


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