Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) was one of the most celebrated artists of his time. He produced some truly monumental works, one of the grandest of which was a ‘triumphal arch’ created for Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519). Dürer created several works for the emperor during his reign, but this massive print is probably the most impressive, at least in terms of sheer scale.
The image was created from 195 individual woodblocks and took almost three years to cut and print (1515-1518). The finished product was over 3.5 metres tall. Its form was meant to evoke the monumental arches commissioned by Roman emperors of antiquity, but rendered in paper rather than marble. It would have originally been intended as a form of wall decoration in one of Maximilian’s residences.