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Melencolia , Engraving by Albrecht Durer (1471-1528, Italy)
Melencolia I is a 1514 engraving by the German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer. It is an allegorical composition which has been the subject of many interpretations. One of the most famous old master prints, it has sometimes been regarded as forming one of a conscious group of Meisterstiche ("master prints") with his Knight, Death and the Devil (1513) and Saint Jerome in his Study (1514).;The engraving has dimensions of 24 x 18.8 cm and is located in the Staatliche Kunsthalle (State Art Gallery) inKarlsruhe, Germany.;The work has been the subject of more modern interpretation than almost any other print, including a two-volume book by Peter-Klaus Schuster, and a very influential discussion in his Dürer monograph by Erwin Panofsky. Reproduction usually makes the image seem darker than it is in an original impression (copy) of the engraving, and in particular affects the facial expression of the female figure, which is rather more cheerful than in most reproductions. The title comes from the (archaically spelled) title, Melencolia I, appearing within the engraving itself. It is the only one of Dürer's engravings to have a title in the plate. The date of 1514 appears in the bottom row of the magic square, as well as above Dürer's monogram at bottom right. Suggestions that a series of engravings on the subject was planned are not generally accepted. Instead it seems more likely that the "I" refers to the first of the three types of melancholia defined by the German humanist writer Cornelius Agrippa. In this type,Melencholia Imaginativa, which he held artists to be subject to, 'imagination' predominates over 'mind' or 'reason'.