Durer derived most of his fame from his engravings, and he is allowed to have surpassed every artist of his time in this branch of art. Born in the infancy of the art, he carried engraving to a perfection that has hardly been surpassed. When we consider that, without any models worthy of imitation, he brought engraving to such great perfection, we are astonished at his genius, and his own resources. Although engraving has had the advantage and experience of more than three centuries, it would perhaps be difficult to select a specimen of executive excellence surpassing his print of St. Jerome, engraved in 1514. He had a perfect command of the graver, and his works are executed with remarkable neatness and clearness of stroke; if we do not find in his plates that boldness and freedom desirable in large historical works, we find in them everything that can be wished in works more minute and finished, as were his. To him is attributed the invention of etching; and if he was not the inventor, he was the first who excelled in the art. He also invented the method of printing wood-cuts in chiaro-scuro, or with two blocks. His great mathematical knowledge enabled him to form a regular system of rules for drawing and painting with geometrical precision. He had the power of catching the exact expression of the features, and of delineating all the passions. Although he was well acquainted with the anatomy of the human figure, and occasionally designed it correctly, his contours are neither graceful nor pleasing, and his prints are never entirely divested of the stiff and formal taste that prevailed at the time, both in his figures and drapery. Such was his reputation, both at home and abroad, that Marc' Antonio Raimondi counterfeited his Passion of Christ, and the Life of the Virgin at Venice, and sold them for the genuine works of Durer. The latter, hearing of the fraud, was so exasperated that he set out for Venice, where he complained to the government of the wrong that had been done him by the plagiarist, but he could obtain no other satisfaction than a decree prohibiting Raimondi from affixing Durer's monogram or signatures to these copies in future. Vasari says that when the prints of Durer were first brought into Italy, they incited the painters there to elevate themselves in that branch of art, and to make his works their models.