Durer’s drawings for the prayer-book of emperor Maximilian I


Regarded as the greatest of the German Renaissance artists, Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) created a vast body of work that ranges from altarpieces to copper engravings and portraits. Painter, printer, draughtsman, and art theorist, he remains most famous for his woodcuts.
Dürer’s primary patron from 1512 onward was the Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Germans, Maximilian I. Among other commissions, the artist drew these 45 pages of marginal drawings for the monarch’s prayer book. Dürer’s playful sketches of angels, saints, dragons, musicians, and cherubs reveal a lighthearted and witty side to an artist better known for his more sober visions. These prayer book drawings remained unknown until their 1808 facsimile publication. This volume is the only edition of these images currently in print, and it features eight additional drawings by other artists as well.