The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse


Albrecht Dürer

1471 – Nuremberg – 1528

The Four Horsemen ca. 1497–98

plate 5 from The Apocalypse

woodcut on laid paper; 395 x 279 mm (15 1/2 x 11 inches)

Bartsch 64; Meder 167 Latin edition of 1511; Schoch/Mende/Scherbaum 115


Paul Davidsohn, Berlin (Lugt 654, his stamp verso)

his sale, C.G. Boerner, Leipzig, sale 129, May 3–8, 1920, lot 1533.

A very good and evenly printing impression; in very good condition showing the borderline all round.

Illustrating the Revelation of St. John the Evangelist, chapter 6 verses 1–8, this composition counts among Dürer’s most famous images. As an icon of German Renaissance art it ranks at the same level as Dürer’s engravings of Adam and Eve and his three Meisterstiche of 1513–14.

Paul Davidsohn, born in Danzig in 1839, moved to Scotland in 1858 and then to London in 1862 where he was a merchant for 20 years, later moving to Berlin. Renowned for his Old Master print collection and connoisseurship, in his later years he also gained fame as a financier of the Silent Film era; e.g., he financed the early films of Hans Lubitsch. The sale of his collection at CG Boerner (which in that period held auctions) was the first great print sale after WWI.