Friday, 21 September 2012

Albrecht Dürer’s Memorial to the Peasants' War (1525)

Beckham tattoo

FIG. 41.—Christ Suffering. Vignette to Dürer’s “Larger Passion.”

the prophecy of Isaiah (53:3): " He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows , and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."


 
John Latham / Niddrie Woman / Proposals 1975-6 
Waste / Monument to labour
Insistence on figuration / Disarticulated woman / spurious relation to prehistory / willendorf venus

This is an Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) sketch of an unbuilt memorial to the peasant rebels of 1525. The sketch parodies monuments to the royal and princely warlords who fought against the untrained, ill-equipped, and overmatched peasants. The memorial consists of various objects from peasant life (mostly agricultural tools) arranged in columnar form. On top of the column is a peasant in the pose of the resting Christ. He has been stabbed in the back with a sword. 

Dürer’s Peasant Pictures

The Measure of Turmoil: Dürer’s Monument to the Vanquished Peasants

If someone wishes to erect a victory monument after vanquishing rebellious peasants, he might use paraphernalia according to the following instructions: Place a quadrangular stone block measuring ten feet in width and four feet in height on a quadrangular stone slab which measures twenty feet in length and one foot in height. On the four corners of the ledge place tied-up cows, sheep, pigs, etc. But on the four corners of the stone block place four baskets, filled with butter, eggs, onions, and herbs, or whatever you like. In the centre of this stone block place a second one, measuring seven feet in length and one foot in height. On top of this second block place a strong chest four feet high, measuring six and a half feet wide at the bottom and four feet wide at the top. Then place a kettle upside down on top of the chest. The kettle’s diameter should be four and a half feet at the rim and three feet at its bottom. Surmount the kettle with a cheese bowl which is half a foot high and two and a half feet in diameter at the bottom. Cover this bowl with a thick plate that protrudes beyond its rim. On the plate, place a keg of butter which is three feet high and two and a half feet in diameter at the bottom. Cover this bowl with a thick plate that protrudes beyond its rim. On the plate, place a keg of butter which is three feet high and has a diameter of a foot and a half at the bottom, and of only a foot at the top. Its spout should protrude beyond this. On the top of the butter keg, place a well-formed milk jug, two and a half feet high, and with a diameter which is one foot at its bulge, half a foot at its top, and is wider at its bottom. Into this jug put four rods branching into forks on top and extending five and a half feet in height, so that the rods will protrude by half a foot, and then hang peasants’ tool on it – like hoes, pitchforks, flails, etc. The rods are to be surmounted by a chicken basket, topped by a lard tub upon which sits an afflicted peasant with a sword stuck into his back

Albrecht Dürer, Unterweisung der Messung (Treatise on Measurement), 1525


Durer self portrait as the Man of Sorrows 1522
 

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