Chapter Five considers how the imagery of message-sending was adopted, in the early sixteenth century, by prints that figured contemporary Humanists—such as Erasmus of Rotterdam—in the guise of letter-writing saints. This chapter proposes the condition of interception, in which private letters were brought to press, as a context in which to consider Dürer’s engraved portraits of his contemporaries. These images announce themselves as faithful representations at the same time that they allude proleptically to their already obsolescent resemblance to their prototypes.
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