The Four Horsemen, from The Apocalypse

Albrecht Dürer. The Four Horsemen, from The Apocalypse, 1498, woodcut, Metropolitan Museum of Art New York.

The Four Horsemen is one of sixteen woodcuts that make up Dürer’s Apocalypse series. Death, Famine,  War, and Plague are the four horsemen who are the harbingers of the Last Judgement described in the Book of Revelations. Dürer was born into an age of religious reformation, scientific inquiry, and artistic innovation and his works reflect the upheaval of his era. These woodcuts were made the same year as Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper was painted in Milan and while Dürer’s drawings and paintings took on a more Renaissance spirit after his travels to Italy, his woodcut series were slower to change and retained a gothic feel, perhaps because of the collaborative production method required. Dürer had a huge influence on the artists of succeeding generations and is remembered today for his innovative techniques in his art but also in his methods of marketing and branding his art.

A sixteenth-century movement in Europe that questioned the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

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