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Object Timeline

1944

  • We acquired this object.

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2020

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Print, The First Knot (Interlace Pattern with White Medallion), before 1521

This is a Print. It was print maker: Albrecht Dürer. It is dated before 1521 and we acquired it in 1944. Its medium is woodcut on off-white laid paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This dazzling interlaced knot is one of six produced by Albrecht Dürer, after designs created by Leonardo da Vinci at the end of the 15th century. Their intended purpose is unknown, but they may have served as patterns for embroidery or textiles, or as a demonstration of the artist’s craftsmanship. Dürer studied geometry, a subject on which he would write several books, which could explain his interest for these intricate designs. This particular one includes a blank amazon shield in its center, set out against a black background and held up by the ropes which form the overall pattern. Some art historians believe these knots could be a form of spiritual exploration, representing Dürer’s vision of the Christian cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth.

It is credited Museum purchase through gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt.

  • Print, Knots, ca. 1506
  • woodcut on cream laid paper.
  • Museum purchase through gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt.
  • 1946-34-1

Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

27.4 x 21.3 cm (10 13/16 x 8 3/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Print, The First Knot (Interlace Pattern with White Medallion), before 1521; Print Maker: Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528); Germany; woodcut on off-white laid paper; 27.4 x 21.3 cm (10 13/16 x 8 3/8 in.); Museum purchase through gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt; 1944-37-1-a

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibitions Making Design and IDEO Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18571547/ |title=Print, The First Knot (Interlace Pattern with White Medallion), before 1521 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=27 September 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>