Symbolism of Albrecht Durer's "Master Engravings" Essay
In the engraving, Knight, Death, and Devil, it appears that the hero (the Knight) is gaining a moral victory over death. (Fig. 1) The Knight has often been interpreted as Erasmus's sturdy Christian soldier who scoffs at death and the …show more content…
In their interpretation of the Melancolia' engraving, the two famous biographers of Durer, Thausing (1876) and Springer (1892), both deviate from a firm basis of historical formulation and interpretation imbued with colorless modern spirituality. Thausing has no doubts whatsoever that the woman sunk in gloomy meditation is human reason, in despair because she has reached the limit of achievement! She is the restless, dissatisfied spirit who brings Faust to the point of confessing that we know nothing. Springer, too, is satisfied with the explanation that intellectual striving consumes the peace of the soul and results in deep depression.
The critic, Paul Weber thought the Melancolia' is grieved because the old theology is still making brutal use of its power, but the visible reason of her grief is that all the arts and accomplishments have failed to satisfy her and bring her happiness. This can only be achieved through faith. The value of Weber's contribution to the study of Durer does not lie in the interpretation of the figure of Melancolia', but in