Interlaced Cord Pattern with Heart-shaped Centre, c. 1506-1507
woodcut on laid paper
27.2 x 21.4 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 2064)
One of the great mysteries of Dürer printmaking is the existence of a series of abstract interlaced designs known as the six knots. Undated and unsigned, they would not be attributed to Dürer at all except that he refers to them in the diary he kept during his trip to the Netherlands in 1520–1521. These works are almost exact copies of prints of northern Italian origin based on designs attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, and are certainly the product of a mind attracted to the science of linear decoration and witty repeating puzzle patterns.