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Before Dürer's time, printmaking was largely an anonymous craft. By adding his monogram to this engraving, the 24-year-old Dürer was not only taking ownership of this work, but announcing it to the world.
Dürer's mastery of engraving was immediately acknowledged by the appearance of copies of most of his images not only in Germany but also in Italy, forcing Dürer to travel to Venice in 1505 to seek copyright protection.
Purchased with money from the Kiss of the Siren Fund for the John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in 1958.