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Monday 4 September 2023

Albrecht Altdorfer’s woodcut, “St Christopher Seated on the Bank”, c.1517

Albrecht Altdorfer (1482/5–1538)

St Christopher Seated on the Bank” (TIB title) (aka. “S. Christophe Assis sur le Rivage”; “St Christopher Stooping to Raise the Christ Child”; “Saint Christopher Seated with the Infant Christ”), c.1517 (c.1515–c.1520). According to the reputable dealer from whom I purchased this woodcut, the impression is from the Baron Hans Albrecht von Derschau edition printed between 1808 and 1816. My understanding of the Derschau editions, however, is that the editions were printed on a greyish paper (see, whereas this impression is on a cream paper. Note that further impressions were taken from the original block now in the Kupferstichkabinett (Berlin) in 1922 and 1963.

Woodcut on cream wove (Japanese?) paper trimmed around the image outline with a narrow margin.

Size: (sheet) 13.1 x 9.7 cm; (image borderline) 12.4 x 9.5 cm.

Signed in the block with the artist’s monogram: (upper centre on tree trunk) “ [monogram with ligature initials] AA”.

TIB 14(6).54(79) (Robert A Koch 1980, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Early German Masters; Albercht Altdorfer; Monogrammists”, vol. 14, New York, Abaris Books, p. 160, cat. no. 54 [79]); New Hollstein w.57 (Ursula Mielke [comp.] 1997, “The New Hollstein German Engravings, Etchings and Woodcuts 1400-1700: Albrecht and Erhard Altdorfer”, Rotterdam, Sound and Vision Interactive, p. 130[?], cat. no. w.57).

See also the description of this print offered by the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

The Curator of the British Museum offers the following insights about this print: “The moment from the legend of St Christopher that Altdorfer has chosen to depict is highly unusual. Normally St Christopher is shown carrying the Christ Child on his shoulders but here they are shown before they cross the river. The Child steps on to a stone, about to climb on to Christopher's back. Choosing an unusual moment of a well-known narrative is typical of Altdorfer.
From M. P. McDonald, Ferdinand Columbus: Renaissance Collector, British Museum, London, 2005” (

Condition: a very strong impression trimmed with a narrow margin around the image borderline. There are scattered pale spots and previous collectors’ pencil notations (verso), otherwise the sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions or significant stains.

I am selling this magnificent late impression of a Renaissance period woodcut by one of the founders of landscape painting, Albrecht Altdorfer, for AU$368 (currently US$245.97/EUR222.55/GBP195.91 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this amazing woodcut—note Altdorfer’s sensitive rendering of the background trees (mindful that around the time of executing this print Altdorfer was to create the first prints focused entirely on landscape features without reference to a narrative involving figures)—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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