Matthew S. Champion
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Measure and the material world of Albrecht Dürer’s Melencolia I
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Dürer’s famous engraving Melencolia features different objects around the personified seated figure of Melancholy. Measures of time and weight informed daily life and manufacturing in Nuremberg and played a critical role in maintaining Nuremberg's reputation as a hub at the intersection of trade groups across Europe. Care and precision relating to measures of time and records of number, length and weight were also critical to mercantile practices. The chapter considers the objects depicted in the engraving, including astrological and astronomical time measurement devices, the sand glass, the sundial, the bell and the scales as a network of objects and images that allow us to reflect on the role of measurement in the creation of melancholic reflection.

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