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An image of The Virgin and Child with a pear by Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer

(Germany 24 May 1471 – 05 Apr 1528)

The Virgin and Child with a pear
Other titles:
Madonna with the pear
The Madonna and child with pear
Media category
Materials used

15.8 x 10.8 cm image/sheet (irreg.)

Signature & date
Signed l.l., [incised plate] "AD [artist's monogram]". Dated u.centre, [incised plate] "1511".
Purchased 1928
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

The Virgin offers the Christ Child a pear (a symbol of pacification) instead of an apple, which would remind the viewer of the Fall of Man. The relationship between the mother and the child is less formal than Dürer’s earlier renditions of the theme. The background affords a deep view through the pointed arch of a massive city gate. But our eye is also encouraged to wander over the surface and relish details such as the swirling folds of the Virgin’s drapery, the spiralling tree trunk and the uniform hatchings of the sky with its drifting clouds.

Bibliography (2)

Nicolas Draffin, Piety and Paganism, 'Introduction', pg. 3-5, Sydney, 1991, 4, 12 (illus.). no catalogue numbers

Renée Free, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'The Western Heritage, Renaissance to Twentieth Century', pg. 108-172, Sydney, 1994, 112 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (4)

Piety and Paganism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Jul 1991–29 Sep 1991

German Old Master Prints, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Mar 1998–16 Jun 1998

Old Europe: Prints & drawings from the collection 1500-1800, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Jun 2006–06 Aug 2006

European prints and drawings 1500-1900, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Aug 2014–02 Nov 2014