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Whats the Secrets in a Name?

Did Albrecht Drer name his prints?


What are the names by which Drers graphic prints are titled? We can only really
know the true meaning of any Drer print by the title he himself gave it or if the subject
matter is obvious on its face (e.g. a print about The Crucifixion).
Drer produced 334 graphic prints on paper (105 engravings, three dry points, six
etchings and 222 woodcuts). We can only be certain of the names of thirteen of all these
prints from entries Drer made in his Diary of his Netherlands Journey (1519). Many of
these 13 names have not been respected by historians and are frequently now known by
other titles, as labeled by the expert of the day. Thus the probability of the accuracy of
these new titles is low, but more importantly, the inaccuracy of the interpretations of the
subject matter is high.
ADAM AND EVA
Lets look at a few examples.
One of Drers most famous prints flashed in front of millions of TV viewers during the
opening credits of Desperate Housewives. That print Drer called Adam und Eva,
which you see here:

That is the only name by which this print should be known. Instead, scholars most often refer
to this composition as The Fall of Man, imposing an enormous amount of religious, mostly
Christian, connotation upon it. That interpretation will never reveal the true secrets of this
print.
If we analyze the landscape in which Drer placed the two figures, it really does not even
seem to represent the Garden of Eden. The action takes place in a very dark place and Eva is
feeding the forbidden fruit to the snake. This doesnt follow the storyline of the Jewish Torah
or the Christian Old Testament, for the snake never eats the forbidden fruit. So why does the
snake eat it here?
Who were Adam and Eva? Adam was the first man and Eva was the second woman (Lilith
having been the first) of both bibles, so if we adhere to interpreting this composition as being
about a first man and a second woman, we ultimately arrive at the truth.
THE RIDER (DER REUTER, wrongly known as Knight, Death, and the Devil)
Another print

whose real

title has been totally ignored can be seen here.

Who were Adam and Eva? Adam was the first man and Eva was the second woman (Lilith
having been the first) of both bibles, so if we adhere to interpreting this composition as being
about a first man and a second woman, we ultimately arrive at the truth.
THE RIDER (DER REUTER, wrongly known as Knight, Death, and the Devil)
Another print whose real title has been totally ignored can be seen here.

Drers title for this print was the Der Reuter, which means the Rider. However, it appears
that sometime around 1867-1875, this composition was labeled with the title, Knight, Death,
and the Devil, a name that has stuck ever since.
While the man riding the horse is dressed in armor and is most likely at least of the social
status of a knight or higher, Drer would have called this print Der Landsnecht, the German
word for knight, if he was truly representing just a knight.
But he didnt. He specifically indicates that this armored figure is riding solo by the title.
His title selection doesnt even give an inclination as to who the other figures are in the
composition or why they are there unless the figures have something to with with a lone
rider.
Neither are the other two figures actually depictions of Death or of the Devil. The figure
known as Death on the left holding the hourglass is a very fleshy figure wearing a crown
with slithering creatures, who happens to be missing a nose. The figure on the right has only
one horn and holds a weapon of war, a pike, which is not how devils were depicted in
medieval times.
When we interpret this print using its real name, The Rider (a sole rider), we then realize that
we are looking at an armored Rider of some social rank of at least a knight, but probably
higher (we find that out because of the noseless figure), riding by a crowned noseless figure
(a king), and a figure that looks like a pig with one horn holding a weapon of war.
SEA MONSTER

Lets look at a third example. The 1498 print you see here:

Drer titled this print the Meerhwunder, the Sea Monster and thus we have to interpret this
print about something that was known as the sea monster in the Renaissance. That creature
was the dolphin, and while the dolphin is a smooth-skinned sea mammal, it was depicted with
scales in medieval times, like this:

And we have to stick to an interpretation that this print is about someone or something that
was a monster of the sea. Most historians interpret this print in light of the Greek and
Roman revivalism that was occurring in the Renaissance. Yet no scholar has yet successfully
interpreted the meaning of this image utilizing all the symbols in this composition.
AND THEN THERE WERE THREE

Through the use of very skilled optical techniques and devious placement of the figures, we
find that Drer actually depicted three figures in this composition: the man with the horns and
beard, the naked woman wearing a Milanese headdress, and the scaly Sea Monster. That
allows us to understand that what is really happening is the sea-monster dolphin carries the
naked Milanese woman whom the bearded man is attempting to rescue.
Thus we are being told a story about some personage associated with a dolphin, a rescuing
man associated with horns on his head, who rescued some naked woman and is also
associated with some Milanese woman.
The other 10 prints for which we have names from Drers Diary follow the same pattern.
They all have clues within the composition that tell us Drers true meaning, which got lost
when scholars re-titled the images. For all the remaining images for which we really dont
know the names, we have to abandon the retitles if we are to find all the secrets that Drer
left us.
I will speak in depth about the clues in the above prints in future publications, as well as
many others. But in the meantime, I have given you the major clues about these three prints
in case you would like to do some Drer sleuthing on your own.

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DRER
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