Dürer devoted three woodcuts (1959.99.5-7) to the significant events in Mary’s youth prior to her sacred calling. His depiction of her birth recalls a contemporary birthing scene, complete with midwives, female friends, and relatives. Anna rests from her efforts in the background while an attendant bathes the infant Mary in the immediate right foreground. The religious significance of the event is made known by the presence of an angel above. In the subsequent prints Mary is presented several years later at the temple (running up the stairs), followed by her betrothal to an older widowed man named Joseph.

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  • Title: The Betrothal of the Virgin
  • Creator: Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528)
  • Date Created: c. 1504-1505
  • Type: Print
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1959.99.7
  • Medium: woodcut
  • Series: The Life of the Virgin
  • Department: Prints
  • Culture: Germany, early 16th Century
  • Credit Line: Dudley P. Allen Fund
  • Collection: PR - Woodcut
  • Accession Number: 1959.99.7

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