Woodcuts, the earliest printmaking technique, are known to date from the early fifteenth century. The woodcut is a relief method of printing. The image is conceived negatively so that the artist cuts (carves) around what is to be printed. Then ink is spread on top of the block of wood, leaving the carved grooves clean, and the block is pressed against a sheet of paper. Dürer’s consummate skill with the woodcut technique is seen here in the highlighted figures set against a darkened background shaded with parallel hatching. The dense composition therefore has a visual clarity that otherwise would have been difficult to achieve.
Open Content Program
The Birmingham Museum of art makes available digital images of works in the Museum’s collection believed to be in the public domain. Images are available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Museum for authorization to use these images. They are available through the Online Collection at artsbma.org/collection. See detailed instructions for specific work types below.
Identifying Open Content Images
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Open Content Program
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- Titles Christ Crucified Between Two Thieves (Former title)
- Artist Albrecht Dürer, German, 1471 - 1528
- Medium woodcut
- Dimensions sheet: 8 3/8 × 5 13/16 in. (21.3 × 14.8 cm) mat (primary): 12 7/8 × 10 1/4 in. (32.7 × 26 cm) mat (secondary): 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.6 cm)
- Credit Line Gift of the Junior League of Birmingham, 1952.4
- Work Type print
- Classification Prints
- Signature None
- Marks None
- Inscription Recto: none Verso, center, in graphite: B. 59 Lower left, in graphite: K6824 [crossed out] Lower left, in graphite: 40127 Lower right, in graphite: B. 59 Lower right, in graphite: L. 1620[7?]
- Provenance Junior League of Birmingham, Alabama; gift to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1952