In the meantime Darer had added a few to the number of his line-engravings and had completed the two woodcut series of the Great Passion, begun about 1498-1499, and the Life of the Virgin.
The plant is mentioned under the name Papus orbiculatus in the first edition of the Catalogus of the same author, published in 1596, and again in the second edition, which was dedicated to Sir Walter Raleigh (1599) It is, however, in the Herbal that we find the first description of the potato, accompanied by a woodcut sufficiently correct to leave no doubt whatever as to the identity of the plant.
A portrait-drawing by the master done at Augsburg a few months previously, one of his finest works, served him as the basis both of a commemorative picture and a woodcut.
Besides such fine single woodcuts as the "Mass of St Gregory," the "St Christopher," the "St Jerome," and two Holy Families of 1511, Darer published in the same year the most numerous and popularly conceived of all his woodcut series, that known from the dimensions of its thirty-seven subjects as the "Little Passion" on wood; and in the next year, 1512, a set of fifteen small copper-engravings on the same theme, the "Little Passion" on copper.
In the edition of 158 r of the De re metallica by Georg Agricola, there is a woodcut showing the interior of a German glass factory, and glass vessels both finished and unfinished.
About the year 1680 Hishigawa Moronobu achieved a great popularity for woodcut illustration, and laid the foundations of the splendid school which followed.
In 1508 DUrer returned to a subject which he had already treated in an early woodcut, the "Massacre of the Ten Thousand Martyrs of Nicomedia."
It does not seem to have been commonly known till the middle of the 16th century, when John Caius sent a description and figure, with the name Gallus Mauritanus, to Gesner, who published both in his Paralipomena in 1555, and in the same year Belon also gave a notice and woodcut under the name of Poulle de la Guinee; but while the former authors properly referred their bird to the ancient Meleagris, the latter confounded the Meleagris and the turkey.
The evidences of this travel (which are really incontestable, though a small minority of critics still decline to admit them) consist of (1) some fine drawings, three of them dated 1494 and others undated, but plainly of the same time, in which Diirer has copied, or rather boldly translated into his own Gothic and German style, two famous engravings by Mantegna, a number of the "Tarocchi" prints of single figures which pass erroneously under that master's name, and one by yet another minor master of the North-Italian school; with another drawing dated 1495 and plainly copied from a lost original by Antonio Pollaiuolo, and yet another of an infant Christ copied in 1495 from Lorenzo di Credi, from whom also Diirer took a motive for the composition of one of his earliest Madonnas; (2) several landscape drawings done in the passes of Tirol and the Trentino, which technically will not fit in with any other period of his work, and furnish a clear record of his having crossed the Alps about this date; (3) two or three drawings of the costumes of Venetian courtesans, which he could not have made anywhere but in Venice itself, and one of which is used in his great woodcut Apocalypse series of 1498 (4) a general preoccupation which he shows for some years from this date with the problems of the female nude, treated in a manner for which Italy only could have set him the example; and (5) the clear implication contained in a letter written from Venice in 1506 that he had been there already eleven years before; when things, he says, pleased him much which at the time of writing please him no more.