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ID number:  BIRBI-68.4
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Dürer, Albrecht (1471-1528)
Title / Object name:  The Men's bath house
Object type:  Print
Place made:  Nuremberg
Culture:  German
Date made:  about 1496
Materials:  Woodcut
Measurements:  388 x 282 mm
Provenance:  Purchased from Alan G. Thomas, October 1968, for £36

This print is among Dürer’s rare early secular prints and reveals a mastery of the male nude in varied and complex poses. Although initially reminiscent of classical forms some of these bodies are rather less than idealised. Six men lounge in an open-air bath, with the figure next to the (wittily-placed) waterspout believed to bear the facial features of Dürer himself. This kind of social interaction could be reminiscent of actual contemporary customs in Dürer’s hometown of Nuremberg.

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