Taking a broad view to consider the letter in the hands of protagonists over centuries of European paintings, the conclusion articulates what differed about the conditions of making and viewing in Dürer’s time. In the sixteenth-century, the letter was less about intimacy than it was a sign of outward communication, a symbol of the connectivity of the writer or recipient. As the social nature of the letter would change in the centuries to come, so too would the symbolic role of letters within images.
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