Pen & Sword Books

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Durer’s Fight Book

Durer’s Fight Book written by Dierk Hagedorn & Daniel Jaquet and published

by Greenhill Books - £30 - Hardback - Pages 320


Albrecht Dürer is probably the most famous German artist of the Renaissance, if not of all time.

His works are world-famous and he was a master in numerous artistic disciplines such as

woodcut, copperplate engraving, drawing and painting.

What is less well known is that he was interested in weapons and fencing throughout his life. He produced several woodcuts for a tournament book by Emperor Maximilian I, but he devoted himself much more thoroughly to the subject of duels in his own extensive fencing manuscript.

Dürer’s fight book stands out from the mass of illustrated fencing manuscripts because of its outstanding quality. In well over 100 elaborate drawings, the master uniquely depicts dynamic pairs of fighters practising contemporary combat techniques, such as wrestling or sword and dagger fighting.

Since its creation more than 500 years ago, the fight book has never been published in its entirety. This edition offers the complete contents of the manuscript for the very first time: All illustrations are reproduced in colour and the complete text is presented in a letter-perfect transcription as well as a translation into modern English.

Albrecht Dürer's fight book offers a unique, new look at Dürer the artist and Dürer the fighter.

An interesting book indeed, especially if you are interested in the art of fighting or hand-to-hand combat. This book looks at the work of Albrecht Durer, a German artist who was obviously interested in the art of combat including fighting on horseback, wrestling and fencing. The book contains a copy of the original manuscript along with the English transcription along with a large collection of artistic drawings, which actually explain some of the writing very well. The attached ribbon bookmarks were excellent in that you could easily compare the drawings with the written definitions. All in all an interesting read and ideal for anyone interesting in hand-to-hand combat. Right, I’m off now to put my sons in their place in the garden with some German hand-to-hand combat.

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