Albrecht Dürer (May 21, 1471 - April 6, 1528) was a German painter, engraver, printmaker and mathematician. His extensive body of work includes altarpieces, religious works, portraits, self-portraits, woodcuts and copper engravings. Among his three large prints known as the Meisterstiche (master engravings) is the enigmatic MELENCOLIA I (1514) depicting the intellectual situation of the artist and, by extension, a spiritual self-portrait. The allegorical composition has been the subject of more interpretations suggest the image references the depressive or melancholy state, although some have seen it as an autobiographical portrait of Dürer's loss of self-confidence. Due to the extensive alchemical imagery in the print, the sun illuminating this scene has often been interpreted as the alchemical SOL NIGER, or BLACK SUN.
Taken from the book THE BLACK SUN UNVEILED by James Pontolillo