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The Ill-Assorted Couple

A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.


c. 1496


Albrecht Dürer
German, 1471-1528

About this artwork

The intersection of commerce with the seamy side of love inspired this secular Dürer engraving. The title refers to the difference in age between two would-be lovers, here seated outside in an intentionally isolated spot. In this popular Renaissance genre, lascivious elderly men attempt to grope beautiful courtesans who hold out for a second purse or steal the rest of their conquest’s belongings. Alternately, toothless crones stroke young men who hope to inherit everything on becoming widowers. Love is on offer to the highest bidder in a mercenary transaction that is anything but courtly.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Albrecht Dürer


The Ill-Assorted Couple


Germany (Artist's nationality)


Made 1491–1501


Engraving in black on ivory laid paper


Image/plate: 14.9 × 13.8 cm (5 7/8 × 5 7/16 in.); Sheet: 15 × 13.9 cm (5 15/16 × 5 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

The Joseph Brooks Fair Collection

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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