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The Knight, Death, and the DevilEnlarge image

The Knight, Death, and the Devil, 1513

Albrecht Dürer
German, 1471 - 1528
engraving on laid paper, with japan paper borders
24.7 x 18.9 cm
Purchased 1921
National Gallery of Canada (no. 1836)

Popular belief and the mystical literature of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries gave widespread currency to the image of a Christian soldier resolutely undergoing the trials of mortal life, without any fear of the throes of death. Here, the knight in armour is followed by his dog, a symbol of faith. Riding at his side, Death holds an hourglass, while the Devil, lance in hand, watches his progress through the inhospitable landscape.

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