Graf drew a number of mercenaries accompanied by women or prostitutes. This sheet shows a soldier bidding farewell to his pregnant spouse. The intimacy of the scene is emphasized by the self-contained composition, the tender, affectionate gestures, and the direction of their gazes. His reaching for his sword leaves no doubt, however, that the moment of departure is imminent.


  • Title: The Farewell
  • Creator: Urs Graf
  • Date Created: 1513/15
  • Physical Dimensions: 19.4 × 14.2 cm
  • Technique and Material: Pen and black ink
  • Provenance: Acquired in 1899 from H. G. Gutekunst, Stuttgart
  • Museum: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett
  • Inv.-No.: C 1899–42
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-845516
  • External Link: http://www.skd.museum/de/museen-institutionen/residenzschloss/kupferstich-kabinett/
  • Copyright: Photo © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett/ Andreas Diesend; Text © Renaissance and Reformation: German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach, A Cooperation of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen München, Catalogue of the Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Nov 20, 2016 – March 26, 2017, Munich: Prestel, 2016; cat. no. 94 / Claudia Schnitzer
  • Catalogue: https://prestelpublishing.randomhouse.de/book/Renaissance-and-Reformation/Stephanie-Buck/Prestel-com/e504919.rhd
  • Artist Dates: c. 1485 Solothurn, Switzerland–c. 1527–28 Basel (?)
  • Artist Biography: Initially trained by his father as a goldsmith, Graf was later primarily active as a copperplate engraver, etcher, and designer of woodcuts. In 1512 he became a citizen of the city of Basel. Graf took part in several military campaigns in Italy. Depictions of war and of mercenaries are an important theme in Graf’s work, whose motifs and expression recall the work of Niklaus Manuel, known as Deutsch, of Bern.

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