Dürer’s works are nowadays well known. Scores of books and hundreds of articles are dedicated to his paintings, graphics and theoretical treatises. Among other texts there are those dedicated to Dürer’s engravings, etchings and woodcuts.

The study of Dürer’s graphic works started in 19th century when they were systematized and catalogued. The first complete catalogue of Dürer’s prints was published in 1808 by Adam Ritter von Bartsch who classified them according to their subject; the catalogue is still important nowadays. He was followed by William Young Ottley, an English expert and a lover of old master prints. In his book published in 1818 he tried for the first time to establish the chronology of Dürer’s graphic works. The next step was to study his prints more thoroughly, systematize them and detect their copies. It was done for the first time by Joseph Heller in 1827; he published a list of Dürer’s copyists which can still be useful nowadays.

The questions of attribution and dating, as well as the questions of authenticity of Dürer’s prints, are still important nowadays. Since the middle of the 19th century, the researchers’ attention was drawn to the inscriptions, captions and monograms on the prints. At the same time, they started to study the paper, its structure and watermarks. In his book, dedicated to Dürer’s drawings and prints, Bernhard Hausmann made the first list of watermarks that were present on the paper used by Dürer for his prints.

In 1890s, as a result of a long study of Dürer’s graphic works, exhibitions were organized in a number of countries (Cambridge, 1893; New York, 1894). The first period of research on Dürer was characterized by the collection of material, its systematization and establishment of chronology.

The next stage of research started in the end of 19th – beginning of 20th century. The scholars started to analyze the technical and artistic evolution of Dürer’s art, connection between his works and the esthetical problems of his time, peculiarities and national features in his works, their scientific, theoretical and philosophical foundations, and Dürer’s role in establishment of new genres and new iconography. The significance of prints in Dürer’s heritage was connected with his role in the history of European master prints.

At the same time the cataloging of Dürer’s prints continued, the collections of different museums were thoroughly studied. In 1932, the Austrian researcher Joseph Meder created a master catalogue of Dürer’s works, based on his predecessors’ works and on his own studies. It was made in a thorough and detailed way. All the woodcuts, copperplate engravings, etchings and dry needles were enumerated; he also made a list of Dürer’s works for the book editions of the 15th century and of his works for the Emperor Maximilian I. Meder supplemented the Hausmann’s list with new watermarks and added his explanations. His catalog, which not only included all of Dürer’s prints, but also enclosed a detailed characteristics of various impressions made in different times, became the most important and unique handbook for the scholars of Dürer’s graphic works.

Meder's catalog is still of fundamental importance nowadays, even though the latest reference book on Dürer’s prints was published in 1954 by Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Hollstein, as a part of work on German prints in 1400–1700. Holstein largely relied on Meder’s catalog. He followed him in dating the prints and he preserved his principle of classification according to the topic and not to the chronology. He added the names of the copyists and the localizations of preserved plates. Holstein also made the reproductions of all the Dürer’s prints and, if a print had a number of conditions, reproductions of all of them. In 1996, Walter L. Strauss published a separate volume (No. 10) of Bartsch’s illustrated catalog, dedicated wholly to Dürer’s prints (TIB. 10). This Strauss’s volume included the reproductions of all the Dürer’s prints and a detailed index of copyists (unfortunately, it is now evident that not all the Dürer’s copyists were listed by Strauss), the localization of preserved plates by Dürer, watermarks and references on previous handbooks.

Russian art historians became interested in Dürer’s works in the beginning of 20th century. First works by Aleksey Mironov were general. But already in 1910s Dmitry Nedovich, in his book dedicated to Dürer’s Apocalypse, saw the structure of this work in detail, and Aleksey Sidorov wrote a number of articles where he addressed debatable issues and problems of Dürer’s heritage in the light of pan-European studies.

In 1928, for the 400th anniversary of Dürer’s death, an exhibition of his graphic works was organized in Moscow, with a catalogue published by Aleksey Sidorov, the first scientific catalogue of Dürer’s prints in Russian language. It included the sheets from the collection of the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts (nowadays the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts). Aleksey Sidorov was the first to characterize the Moscow collection of Dürer’s prints, marking the quality and the age of all the impressions, based mainly on paper watermarks.

Two years later, Sidorov published an article addressing one of the most debatable issues of Dürer’s art: dating and chronology of his early copperplate engravings. It is well known that the artist started to regularly date his engravings in 1503. Only one earlier plate, Four Women, was dated, while other mythological, allegoric and religious engravings not only were without date, but often also without signature. That is why these works became a subject of controversy among many researchers. Aleksey Sidorov, laying down a detailed overview of opinions of major researchers, made his chronology according to the analysis of Dürer’s stylistic and technical evolution. Other Soviet art historians to address general and problematic issues in their works were Z. Nesselschtraus (in her monograph on Dürer and in her publication of Dürer’s diaries, letters and treatises) and M. Liebmann (in his book about Dürer and in his doctoral thesis dedicated to the German art of Dürer’s time). In 1971, for the 500th anniversary of Dürer’s birth, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts became a site of a great exhibition of Dürer’s prints from the Museum collections. A catalogue created by G. Kislykh was made for the exhibition. This study, the latest and most complete list of Dürer’s prints in the collections of the Pushkin Museum, became a base for this site.