09/11: Ascension

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Luke 24:50-53

50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer (German pronunciation: [ˈalbʁɛçt ˈdyːʁɐ]; 21 May 1471 – 6 April 1528) was a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since. His vast body of work includes altarpieces and religious works, numerous portraits and self-portraits, and copper engravings. His woodcuts, such as the Apocalypse series (1498), retain a more Gothic flavor than the rest of his work. His well-known works include the Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513), Saint Jerome in his Study (1514) and Melencolia I (1514), which has been the subject of extensive analysis and interpretation. His watercolors mark him as one of the first European landscape artists, while his ambitious woodcuts revolutionized the potential of that medium.

Dürer's introduction of classical motifs into Northern art, through his knowledge of Italian artists and German humanists, has secured his reputation as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance. This is reinforced by his theoretical treatises, which involve principles of mathematics, perspective and ideal proportions.

(Read more on Wikipedia)

The Ascension from the Small Passion

The Ascension is one of the final woodcuts in a series known as the Small Passion. Dürer's persistent striving with the art of painting had received new stimulus in Italy, and in his letters to Jacob Heller we hear of his hard struggle in his efforts to produce large pictures. However, the artist's imagination, pent up by his studies in painting, and also owing to the necessity of a more economic mode of life, was impelled to express itself in the woodcut. After the beginnings of the year 1509, in 1510 the production increases to five single cuts and six supplementary cuts to the Large Passion and to the Life of the Virgin, and reached its climax in the year 1511, in which appeared besides the edition of the three big works with new title pages and eight big separate woodcuts, the Small Passion with its thirty-seven woodcuts of which only three belong to the years 1509 and 1510.

(See the whole Small Passion series)
Chris Webb,
Sep 10, 2011, 6:54 AM