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Three Captives

A work made of engraving on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving on cream laid paper.


c. 1505


Jacopo de’ Barbari
Italian, 1460/70-before July 1516

About this artwork

Jacopo de’ Barbari was an Italian painter and printmaker active in the courts of Saxony, in present-day Germany, during the early 16th century. Albrecht Dürer met Barbari in Venice and was reportedly fascinated by Barbari’s idiosyncratic approach to human proportions, which led to Dürer’s own treatise on the subject (published in 1528). For this engraving Barbari depicted the three bound nude male figures each in a different pose, showing either the front, side, or back. Artists often adopted this conceit in order to prove their mastery of the body in three dimensions. Here, the figures’ languid, somewhat attenuated physiques evidence the prolonged length of their captivity.


On View, Gallery 204


Prints and Drawings


Jacopo de' Barbari


Three Captives


Italy (Object made in)




Engraving on cream laid paper


160 × 101 mm

Credit Line

The Amanda S. Johnson and Marion J. Livingston Endowment

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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