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Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)

The Bath House c.1496

Woodcut | 39.3 x 28.5 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 800195

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The scene is a men’s bath house, a place for socialising as well as washing. The man at left is Dürer himself, leaning on a pillar from which protrudes a suggestively placed tap; the corpulent man to the right, draining his tankard of beer, is a joshing portrait of his closest friend, Willibald Pirckheimer. While we can appreciate the humour of Dürer's depiction of himself and his friend, the print sold in large numbers to people who had no idea what he or Pirckheimer looked like.