Die Heilige Familie mit der Libelle. Um 1495. Engraving. Bartsch 44. Hollstein 42. Meder 42 f (of k). Schoch/Mende/Scherbaum 2. Monogrammed in plate. Strong impression on laid paper (with watermark "Bischofswappen"), trimmed to image and to platemark respectively. 23.9 x 18.6 cm (9.4 x 7.3 in).
PROVENANCE: Collection Thomas Rehdiger, Herr von Striesa (Wroclaw 1540- 1576 Cologne), bequeathed to Wroclaw municipal library (verso with stamp, Lugt 4235). Passed over to private ownership through swap of dublets by Museum Wroclaw 1940 (according to Boerner, cf. Weltkunst 14. 1940, no. 52, p. 3). C.G. Boerner, Düsseldorf, sales exhibition "Dreißig Graphische Meisterwerke", 15 - 31 October, 1960, cat. no. 2 (= inventory list no. 30). Private ownership North Rhine-Westphalia (since 1961).
"With the large copper Dürer takes stock of his learning and wandering years. He addresses the theme, which would become a leitmotif of his graphic work, for the first time: Mother of God in a landscape. As first copper the work 'Heilige Familie mit Libelle' (Holy Family with Dragonfly) carries his monogram in Gothic letters […]. The sheet, generally dated 'around 1495' may well have been one of his much sought-after main works from the versatile range of graphic works that Dürer made after he had returned from Italy. As far as size and function are concerned, it competes with small painted devotional images.“ (Rainer Schoch, in: Schoch/Mende/Scherbaum, vol. I, p. 29).