November 26, 2017
Albrecht Dürer, Samson Rending a Lion, no date, woodcut, 14 7/8 x 10 15/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.
In this highlight from the MOA collection, Albrecht Dürer captures the climax of this dramatic bible story as Samson attempts to pry open the snarling mouth of the thrashing lion. The striking tonal gradations, especially visible in the contours of the lion’s mane, were unprecedented in contemporary woodblock printmaking. The woodblock itself—the original source of this remarkable pictorial achievement—has survived the centuries and currently resides in the Metropolitan Museum collection.