Dogs appear in all three of the Master Engravings, which Dürer created between 1513 and 1514. In the first of these works, Knight, Death, and Devil, a lithe dog can be seen at the feet of his master, a knight on horseback, sprinting fearlessly towards the enemy. By contrast, a rather more restful mood prevails in the other two copperplate engravings, both of which feature sleeping dogs. The appearance of a dog in Dürer’s depiction of Saint Jerome is quite unexpected and seems to invite interpretation. Traditionally we would only expect to see the lion from whose paw (according to the legend) Saint Jerome extracted a thorn. However, in Dürer’s work there also lurks a dog, clearly smaller by some considerable margin than the lion.According to the laws of the natural world, the smaller animal should quickly become the lion’s prey, and yet the dog sleeps quite unperturbed in direct proximity to the wild creature. This may well be interpreted as an allusion to the overcoming of discord described in the words of the Lord, which shine forth into the room, and are immediately put to paper by the saint as he sits at his desk.


  • Title: Saint Jerome in his Study
  • Creator: Albrecht Dürer
  • Date: 1514
  • Physical Dimensions: w19.1 x h25 cm
  • Type: Print
  • Medium: Copperplate
  • Inv.-No.: 401-2
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018511
  • External Link: Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyright: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Jörg P. Anders │ Text © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Michael Roth
  • Collection: Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Artist Place of Death: Nuremberg, Germany
  • Artist Place of Birth: Nuremberg, Germany
  • Artist Gender: Male
  • Artist Dates: 21.05.1471 - 26.04.1528

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