A Sword Will Pierce
Your Own Soul Too

The Life of Mary and
the Passion of Christ
in the Woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer

Life of Mary

Originally made up of 20 images, most of which were completed between 1502 and 1505, the Life of Mary reflects more the popular Golden Legend than the Biblical accounts of the life of Mary. Among the nineteen Life of Mary woodcuts on exhibit are the Birth of Mary whimsically portrayed as a 16th century Nuremberg event, the innocence of the Virgin at the angel's word of the Annunciation and the heart-wrenching Christ Taking Leave of His Mother.

CHI's nineteen Life of Mary cuts include:

  1. Refusal of Joachim's Offering, c. 1504

  2. Angel Appearing to Joachim, c. 1505

  3. Joachim and Anna Embracing under the Golden Gate, 1504

  4. Birth of Mary, c. 1503

  5. Presentation of Mary in the Temple, c. 1504–1505

  6. Marriage of Mary and Joseph, c. 1505

  7. Annunciation, c. 1500–1502

  8. Visitation, c. 1503

  9. Nativity, c.1502

  10. Circumcision, c. 1505

  11. Adoration of the Kings, c. 1502

  12. Presentation in the Temple, c.1505

  13. Flight into Egypt, c. 1503

  14. Repose in Egypt, c. 1505

  15. Christ among the Doctors in the Temple, c.1503

  16. Christ Taking Leave of His Mother, c. 1505

  17. Death of Mary, 1510

  18. Assumption, 1510

  19. Adoration of Virgin and Child by Saints and Angels, c. 1500

Two additional woodcuts that were not part of the Life of Mary series but fit into it by theme are also found in the Institute’s collection: