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Wing of a European Roller

Der Flügel einer Blauracke

Because of its blue feathers, the European roller, which used to be endemic throughout the Continent and makes a crow-like noise (“rak, rak, rak”), is also known as Blue roller. Dürer dealt with the bird twice in two fastidiously executed paintings on parchment: in the one he drew the dead bird’s entire plumage, while in the sheet presented here he concentrated on one of its colourful wings. The p…