Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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The Sudarium of St. Veronica
  • Albrecht Dürer
    born: Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire (present-day Germany) ; died: Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire (present-day Germany) ; active: Holy Roman Empire (prese
  • The Sudarium of St. Veronica, 1508–1510
  • the Small Passion series
  • Where object was made: Germany
  • woodcut, framed with three others
  • Lent by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri (Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust) 33-205
  • Not on display
  • EL2012.020
  • Loan: Not in the Spencer's collection
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Giorgio Vasari and Court Culture in Late Renaissance Italy," Sep-2012, Sally Cornelison and Susan Earle
During his prolific career, Albrecht Dürer produced five series of images depicting Christ’s Passion, some of which were bound with accompanying text as books. These four diminutive prints come from the Small Passion, which was published in 1511. Comprised of 37 woodcuts, the Small Passion is the most iconographically extensive of Dürer’s Passion series. In the print illustrating Christ Carrying the Cross Dürer depicted the head of a Burji Mamluk soldier from Egypt or Syria behind the soldier on the far right. As this image shows, members of the Mamluk military wore a type of distinctive tall, conical red fur hat called a zamt. It is likely that Vasari borrowed Dürer’s exotic Islamic figure for his own version of Christ Carrying the Cross, where similar Mamluk soldiers’ heads appear behind the weeping St. John the Evangelist and, in the painting’s upper left, emerging from Jerusalem’s gate behind the two elders on horseback.