The Large Horse, 1505
engraving on laid paper
16.6 x 11.7 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 2053)
In addition to the human figure, horses played an important part in Dürer’s lifelong obsession with ideal beauty and proper proportions. In this interest the artist rivalled masters of the Italian Renaissance such as Pisanello, Donatello, Mantegna, and Leonardo da Vinci. The column to the left is actually a pedestal for sculpture in imitation of classical traditions. Although called "The Large Horse", this engraving is actually one of Dürer’s smallest prints, the title referring to the way in which the animal’s muscular haunches dominate the image.