The Men’s Bath

Albrecht Dürer1496/97

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago

Albrecht Dürer’s strikingly modern woodcut of men relaxing at an open-air bath boasts deep, dark ink and a warm, creamy paper tone suited to its celebration of naked flesh. This impression looks much the way it would have when it came off Dürer’s press around 1497. While others might have been posted on walls, perhaps at bathhouses, this particular "Men’s Bath" appears to have largely escaped handling until close to the present day. While ostensibly a genre scene, the print may protest the Nuremberg Council’s 1496 edict forbidding the town’s residents to visit bathhouses after an outbreak of syphilis and a drought.

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  • Title: The Men’s Bath
  • Creator: Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528)
  • Date: 1496/97
  • Physical Dimensions: 392 × 283 mm (image/sheet, trimmed within block)
  • Type: Print
  • External Link: The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Media: Woodcut on cream laid paper
  • Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, the Amanda S. Johnson and Marion J. Livingston Fund, 2009.133
  • Artist: Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528)