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.
- Jacopo de' Barbari
- Three Captives
- Italy (Object made in)
- Engraving on cream laid paper
- 160 × 101 mm
- The Amanda S. Johnson and Marion J. Livingston Endowment