The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand – (Albrecht Durer) Previous Next


Style: Northern Renaissance

Topic: Christianity Punishments Saints

Date: 1508

Size: 99 x 87 cm

Museum: Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna, Austria)

Technique: Oil On Canvas

The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand is an oil painting by Albrecht Dürer, dating to 1508 and now at the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna, Austria. It is signed on a cartouche which hangs from the artist's self-portrait in the center, saying Iste fatiebat Ano Domini 1508 Albertus Dürer Aleman. The painting was commissioned by Frederick III, Elector of Saxony, who had been Dürer's patron since 1496. Frederick himself chose the subject, as his collection of relics included some of the Ten thousand martyrs. Dürer had used the same subject for a woodcut of some ten years before, but in the new work he eliminated some macabre details such as the torture of the bishop Acacius, having his eyes stripped through a drill. This scene was replaced by a crucifixion on the right and by the presence of the bishop in chains behind it. The work was repeatedly mentioned in the correspondence between the artist and Jakob Heller of Frankfurt. Dürer received 280 florins for it.

This artwork is in the public domain.


Albrecht Durer


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