German, 1471 ‑ 1528
Saint Eustace, about 1501
Engraving on paper
14 1/8 × 10 3/8 in. (35.9 × 26.3 cm.)
Gift of the Museum Collectors 1968.27
Imagine the hours of concentrated work it must have taken Dürer to meticulously engrave the hundreds of details you see in this depiction of St. Eustace: from the delicate plants growing in the foreground, to the elegant swans gliding on the water on the left, to the fortified walls of the town on the hill in the distance. Using a sharp, beveled-edge tool called a burin, Dürer carefully gouged lines into a copper plate that—when inked—would define the lines you see in this print. Depicted is the miraculous vision experienced by the Roman soldier Placidus (later baptized Eustace). While hunting, Eustace encountered a stag with a crucifix between its antlers. When the stag spoke to him in the voice of Christ, Eustace fell to the ground and professed his faith.