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It is possible that at least a part of the family was of German origin, as Albrecht Durer the Elder's written German was excellent, and his son also occasionally disassociated himself from other nationalities using the term "Albertus Durerus Germamcus. His grandfather Anton Durer had learned the craft of the goldsmith, and his eldest son, Durer's father, was supposed to follow in his footsteps. The latter, however, left his homeland at an early age and went off on his travels. The imminent danger of a Turkish invasion and the Hussite Wars in Bohemia were reason enough to turn his back on Hungary.

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Albrecht Durer the Elder spent a short while in Nuremberg around 8 May , but did not return to the Franconian city until in order to work as an assistant in the workshop of the Nuremberg goldsmith Hieronymus Holper died after, so it was said, he had been "a long time in the Netherlands with the great artists. In , after working as an assistant for twelve years, he married Barbara Holper , the 15 year-old daughter of his master. Marrying a citizen of Nuremberg enabled him to gain civil rights in the city and in , at the advanced age of 41, he qualified as a master.

At first the newly married couple lived at the rear of the home of Dr. Johannes Pirckhamer died , a Nuremberg patrician. Albrecht Durer the Younger was born on 21 May , their third child. Of his eighteen brothers and sisters, only three brothers survived apart from him: Durer spent his childhood and youth in the smart Latin quarter of Nuremberg. The family lived in the house "unter den Vesten" "which Durer's father had bought in for florins. Both of Durer's grandfathers, and his father, were goldsmiths. It was intended that he should continue this tradition. After he had "learned to write and read" in school, his father started him as an apprentice in his workshop.

He was a bright student, but soon showed greater interest in painting than in the goldsmith's craft, so that according to his family chronicle his father regretted "the lost time" that his son "had spent learning gold work. At the age of 13, before a mirror, he drew the earliest remaining of the numerous self-portraits that were to record his appearance at various points in his life.

Durer noted in the inscription: The silver point drawing depicts the artist's characteristic, childlike features in a style that is still Late Gothic and somewhat angular, but already demonstrates an assured hand. The young Durer coped with playful ease with the difficult silver point technique, which cannot be corrected and requires a high degree of precision and stylistic confidence.

It is the only existing autonomous self-portrait of an artist at such an early age. According to a source, an even earlier self-portrait of Durer at the age of eight was owned by the Bavarian Elector. It was destroyed in the course of a palace fire. It is probable that the father recognized his son's talent, for in he finally gave in to his wishes and sent him to become an apprentice in the workshop of the respected Nuremberg painter and entrepreneur, Michael Wolgemut.

Christoph Scheurl, a humanist and personal friend of Durer's, reported that the artist had informed him both verbally and in writing that his father wanted to apprentice him at the early age of fifteen to the famous, internationally renowned graphic artist Martin Schongauer c.

Schongauer, who was also the son of a goldsmith, produced copper engravings in larger editions than had previously been customary. This increased the familiarity of his works, which were soon so popular that they were also used by other artists of the late 15th century as models for their altars and panel paintings.

During this time, selected masterly engravings by Schongauer could be found in many workshops and had a stylistic influence. In his Lives of the Artists , the artist and biographer Giorgio Vasari reports that even Michelangelo had copied a copper engraving by Schongauer. The question as to why Durer's father finally decided in favor of Wolgemut as a master must remain open. It is possible that the Durer family could not afford the expensive journey and living and apprenticeship costs.

Perhaps the famous Schongauer also no longer wanted to take on any more apprentices. It seems reasonable to assume that Durer had already finished his apprenticeship as goldsmith with his father at this time. The knowledge of drawing which he had gained doing this was to prove useful later on when making precise preparations for paintings in the form of underpaintings and preliminary drawings. The years spent as an apprentice with Michael Wolgemut, whose style was still rooted in the Late Medieval craftsmen's tradition, were extremely useful for Durer's artistic development, though they do not always appear to have been entirely easy from a human point of view.

For example, at the age of 15 Durer was the oldest apptentice in the workshop and had to "suffer much from Wolgemut's servants," as he himself wrote in his family chronicle. In his master's workshop, Durer learned the fundamental things necessary for his training as a painter's assistant. In addition to the basic requirements such as mixing colors, composition, pen and ink drawings and producing landscape backgrounds, there was also the intensive study and use of the technique of woodcuts. This is all the more remarkable as at that time Michael Wolgemut worked with the well-known publisher Anton Koberger c.

Woodcut illustrations from Michael Wolgemut's workshop were at the time some of the best in terms of technique that were available on the European market. New effects in their preparation, finer interior details and the suggestion of spatiality increased demand. The illustrations for the Nuremberg Chronicle by the Nuremberg doctor and humanist Hartmann Schedel , which was published by Anton Koberger, became particularly famous. This work, which appeared in , contained a total of woodcuts and, with its illustrations and descriptions based on the seven ages, was meant to represent a history of the world and its peoples.

The chronicle became internationally famous, and the pictures of cities may have contributed considerably to its popularity. The largest depiction, a view of the then world and trade metropolis of Nuremberg, is a good example of the way city views were recorded in all their detail. Repeated attempts have been made to stylistically prove Durer's involvement in this book project by comparing it to his woodcuts of the Apocalypse. While there is no source material to confirm his collaboration, it can be assumed that he did so, as Durer was working as an apprentice in Wolgemut's workshop at the time the Nuremberg Chronicle was produced.

The intensive study of woodcut techniques and what were, for the time, exceptionally high technical standards in the Wolgemut workshop were important prerequisites for Durer's inspired potential for development in this field, and for his methodical action in later years when he started to use printed graphics to a broadly commercial extent. In , after his painter's apprenticeship in Michael Wolgemut's workshop ended, Durer left on four years of travels as a journeyman, and immediately before departing painted the two portraits of his parents which were originally connected in the manner of a diprych and were separated after While the portrait of his father came to be owned by Emperor Rudolph II in Prague, its counterpart remained with the Imhoff family in Nuremberg.

These first painted portraits by Durer demonstrate the knowledge and abilities he had gained in the Wolgemut workshop. The subjects appear before a dark background and are related to each other by their lines of sight. Their piety is expressed by the rosaries in their hands.

The delicate detail of the features, in particular those of the father, is realistic to a degree which is unusual in contemporary portrait painting, and is reminiscent of Dutch portraits of the early 15th century.

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In the arrangement and opposite positions of the pendants, Durer was following the traditional scheme of portraits of married couples. The woman is positioned to the right of the man, the lower ranking position. The folds of the garments, particularly in the mother's portrait, still show a Late Gothic hardness. Uncertainties in the modeling of the features suggest that the portraits must have been created immediately after Durer's apprenticeship had ended. The goal of an emerging artist when making a journey was to get to know other workshops, methods of work and styles, and to extend his own repertoire in terms of techniques and motifs.

Artistically interesting motifs were recorded in sketch books which were used after the artist returned from his journey to help him find his own forms. Such sketches made by Durer, taken out of a sketch book, still exist. In his family chronicle, Durer refers to his time as a journeyman with just one laconic sentence: And I left in , after Easter, and returned again, in the year of , after Whitsun. Nothing is known about the places Durer stayed at during the first two years of his journey, although portrait drawings such as the Self-portrait with a Bandage presumably date from this time.

The theory that Durer possibly stayed in Haarlem in the Netherlands during this time cannot be proven, although it was suggested by the art historiographer and artist Karel van Mander in his lives of the artists Het Schilder-Boeck , which first appeared in , by Joachim van Sandrart in his book Teutschen Academie der Edlen Bau-, Bild- und Mahlerey-Kunste , and was assumed to be the case due to references to paintings by the Haarlem master Geertgen tot Sint Jans c.

It is also called into question by a statement by the Nuremberg humanist Christoph Scheurl, a personal friend of Durer's. In his work, Vita reverendi patris domini Antoni Kressen Nurnberg , dating from 24 July it says: At the end of May Durer returned to Nuremberg where he married shortly afterwards on 7 July. The family chronicle provides the following information about this:. This was on the Monday before St. Margaret's in the year of It was an arranged marriage, a "good catch" which Durer's father had initiated for economic reasons. Hans Frey , Durer's father-in-law, was a master craftsman, a smith from an old Nuremberg family who had specialized in air-driven fountains, machines and banqueting tables, was the site manager and landlord of the town hall, and was elected to the city council in His wife Anna, nee Rummel died in , also came from a wealthy and respected family.

One of her relatives was the wealthy financier Wilhelm Rummel, who worked mainly in Italy for the Emperor, the Curia and the Medicis. At the time of her marriage to Durer, Agnes Frey was about 18 or 19 years old. A pen drawing in the Albertina collection, bearing the caption "mein agnes" added by Durer himself, shows her as she might appear when nobody was looking, as a childlike girl with her hair tied back.

It is possible that this sketch was even produced before they were married, as Agnes appears without a bonnet, in accordance with the custom for unmarried women. It can be clearly recognized from various letters from Durer to Willibald Pirckheimer dating from the second Italian journey in that Durer's marriage, which did not produce any children, was an unhappy one. This is confirmed in later years by the meticulous records in the Netherlands journal, from which it emerges that during the course of the one year trip, Durer took most of his meals together with his numerous friends or alone, while his wife and maid were able "to cook and eat upstairs.

In later years she was his model in the painting of St. It has been speculated at various times that Durer was homosexual, based on a letter by the Nuremberg patrician Lorenz Behaim died to Willibald Pirckheimer on 7 March , in which "Durer's boys" are spoken of. There is, however, no further evidence of this. A few months after the wedding Durer left on his first Italian journey. What is meant here is either a work of art that cannot be more closely identified, or the Italian style in general which may have made a deep impression on Durer as a young journeyman on his first trip to Italy.

By the time of his second Italian journey, however, he had already developed his own style and artistic ideas, for which reason he may have remained calm in the face of external influences. The reason for Durer's sudden departure for Italy in has frequently been thought to have been the outbreak of the Plague in Nuremberg, which during its worst phase killed over a hundred people every day.

As early as , in a report requested by the city council, the Nuremberg city doctors - in imitation of the Florentine doctor and philosopher Marsilio Ficino - recommended that the most effective preventative measure against the plague was fleeing from the city. Respected Nuremberg citizens such as the artist Christoph Amberger c. The plague raging in Nuremberg was probably not the only reason Durer left on so long a journey. This was frequently viewed as a sort of extended journeyman's travels. This later became decisive in Durer's role as a mediator between the Italian Renaissance and Germany, breaking through his customary way of depicting things, marked by the Late Medieval workshop tradition, to reveal the "new" element in Italian art, the recollection of the classical world.

A decisive element in Durer's interest in making this journey to Italy may have been the desire to learn from the sculptural and spatial conceptions of classical art and the Italian Renaissance artists and to understand the practice and theory of what the latter were striving for, the overlapping of the "image of man, perspective, proportion, the classical age, nature, mythology and philosophy. Durer probably first heard of the new trends in Italian art while he was in Basle.

The first examples to reach the North were graphic sheets and devotional pictures. Drawn copies of a series of copper engravings by a master from Ferrara from about are some of the earliest proofs of northern interest in Italian Renaissance art. Copper engravings made by the Italian artist Andrea Mantegna were in circulation in Germany even before Durer's Italian journey. Durer traced them directly from the original sheets, though it is uncertain whether he did this immediately before his journey or during his stay in Italy.

Durer's first Italian journey is an important milestone in his artistic development. First of all, he was no longer familiar with southern art merely in the form of printed graphics, as was the case north of the Alps, but was able to see the works on the spot. Basing their insights on the classical architectural theoretician Vitruvius, Italians were studying both the ideal proportions of the human body and the development of central perspective as a means to a more realistic depiction of space. Durer was to learn about all these things from Italian artists such as Jacopo de Barbari c.

There is, however, no evidence as to whether he ever sketched directly from antiques or whether he received his knowledge of classical forms solely from copying engravings made by Italian masters. The route of Durer's journey presumably first took him via Augsburg to Innsbruck, where he drew the two watercolors of the courtyard of Innsbruck Castle. These are the first two in a series of landscape watercolors which were created during the journey. They were used as independent study material and private records. Later they were also incorporated into Durer's printed graphics and the landscape backgrounds of his paintings.

There are a total of 32 water-colors dating from the period between and shortly after , most of which are connected with. Durer's travels to Italy. None of the sheets is signed or dated. For this reason there is to date no agreement concerning their precise sequence. The watercolors are some of the most studied in Western art history.

Encounter with proportion and perspective

They can rightly be considered autonomous works and document an altered relationship with landscape painting, which had previously been the least regarded artistic genre, its function being entirely subservient to history paintings. A decisive factor in the new conception of landscape pictures is an individual concept of nature as well as an innovative technique in using watercolors, making it possible to produce the subtlest nuances by building up layers of glaze similar to the technique used in oil painting.

While Durer's early watercolors are still reminiscent of typical examples of topographical methods of depiction from the Franconian workshop tradition, such as the views of Bamberg from the workshop of Wolfgang Katzheimer active from , in the later works their composition, color and painterly design becomes considerably more free.

The atmospheric conception of landscape in these later watercolors has even led to their being compared to those of the impressionist, Cezanne Durer's watercolors can be divided into two groups. The early examples frequently include topographical studies which are the first autonomous colored landscapes to record particular locations in detail. They still contain some perspectival uncertainties, such as the depiction of the Wire-drawing Mill. Here, the artistic interest in producing a realistic picture is at the fore.

This leads to all details being recorded additively with the same emphasis, and the color being softened very little. His knowledge about the influence of light and air on the appearance of color only becomes noticeable in later works. These move from a natural to an atmospheric and cosmic record of landscape, which becomes clear both in the overall composition and in the more relaxed use of color. The detailed record is now subordinate to the harmonious effect of the whole. A single motif that aroused Durer's interest, such as a section of wall, a mass of roots in a quarry or a complex of buildings, may stand out from the otherwise summary picture, captured with a few brushstrokes and color surfaces.

In later, mature watercolors such as the Quarry dating from about , a section is placed freely on the surface of the picture. Here, Durer is experimenting with the technical opportunities of watercolor by allowing various brown tones to come into effect in numerous nuances and shades.


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The knowledge of perspective gained in Italy was already leaving its mark on watercolors such as the Landscape near Segonzano in the Cembra Valley , making them easier to date. The likely route can partly be deduced from the watercolors, and partly from information about frequently used routes that has been handed down in the first map printed as a woodcut, complete with travel routes and distances, by the mathematician and doctor Erhard Etzlaub c.

According to this, Albrecht Durer's route would have taken him from Innsbruck on the road over the Brenner Pass, then to Bressanone Brixen and Chiusa Klausen , where a watercolor of the Rabenstein near Weidbruck was created. According to the "Bolzano Chronicle" dating from , the roads near Bolzano Bozen were flooded at the time of Durer's journey. It is therefore likely that the artist made a detour through the Cembra Valley, which is confirmed by the watercolor.

During his return trip, on the road to the Brenner, he probably created a view of Klausen in the Eisack Valley which has since been lost, though it was reworked in the copper engraving Nemesis or Good Fortune. Durer's stay in Venice, however, was characterized mainly by drawings produced from originals and from life. Throughout his life, Durer expressed his enthusiasm for the variety of fauna and flora in numerous drawn studies. During his stay in Venice, the large-format water study sheets with depictions of a Sea Crab and a Lobster were created.

Initially there was doubt about the authenticity of these sheets, but Winkler established that the lobster was a member of a species predominantly native to the Adriatic Sea. Studies of lions, reminiscent of Venice's heraldic animal, and mythological depictions have also survived. These sheets, like the watercolors, were independent studies not made in preparation for any concrete work. Studies such as the Female Nude of provide evidence that Durer had already considered the depiction of human proportions before his journey to Italy. A prominent example of drawn copies of Italian originals is the pen drawing of the Death of Orpheus in the Hamburg Kunsthalle, which Durer probably produced in imitation of a painting by Mantegna.

The original is only known by a copper engraving which is also in the Kunsthalle in Hamburg. The pictorial theme was drawn from the eleventh chapter of Ovid's Metamorphoses This early drawing already demonstrates something that was to become significant in Durer's later graphic works: The sweeping gestures of the two Thracian women, both seen from the front and the back, form a counterweight to the movement of Orpheus' body.

The study of human proportions and search for the ideal measurement were echoed in numerous other nudes such as the standing nude woman seen from the rear. On repeated occasions, Durer spontaneously recorded new impressions from life. This is also documented by the studies of Venetian women wearing the city dresses with very low necklines that were widely considered to be "indecent". In a pen drawing Durer contrasts a Venetian with a Nuremberg woman, and the liberal Venetian dress clearly differs from the tight and modestly laced German costume.

In this connection, Erwin Panofsky compares Durer with a modern art historian contrasting a Late Gothic town house and a Renaissance palazzo in a similar manner. Studies of traditional Venetian dress reappear in Durer's printed works at a later date, such as in the drawing and woodcut of the Martyrdom of St. Catherine and the depiction of the Babylonian Whore in the series of woodcuts for the book of the Apocalypse. It has frequently been questioned how Durer managed to finance this journey to Italy. It is possible that he was able to invest a portion of his wife's dowry, but it is likely that he kept his head above water by selling woodcuts, perhaps even by doing commissioned work.

Researchers differ in their opinions about Durer's activities as a painter during his first journey to Italy, as there is no corresponding painting that can be definitely attributed to this period by means of a signature or sources. The picture of the Virgin and Child that is now in a private collection but used to be in the Capuchin monastery of Bagnacavallo near Bologna is considered by Anzelewsky to be part of a group of four paintings which were possibly created during the first journey to Italy.

There are other opinions, to the effect that Durer possibly painted the picture after his return to Nuremberg and took it with him on his second Italian journey in order to sell it there. The work was not tediscovered until after the Second World War. Before this time it had been in Italy.

In this picture, the Late Gothic style is already combined with the first hints of the Italian Renaissance. The Virgin is enthroned before a gate arch which opens to one side, the Christ Child bedded on a cloth on her lap. In terms of composition, the group of figures is in the shape of a triangle.

Mary and Jesus are related to each other by their postures. The mother is tenderly holding her son's hand and gazing at him both lovingly and mournfully, foreseeing his Passion to come. The strawberry twig in Mary's hand, a symbol of both Christ and Mary, is a sign both of motherhood and, because of its red color, of Christ's Passion. In the monumental and well-proportioned conception of the group of figures Durer was following Italian models, in particular the Madonna paintings by Giovanni Bellini, though the spatial composition still owes much to the Late Gothic style as influenced by Dutch painting.

While this drawing is not a concrete model, there are nonetheless stylistic parallels. During the following decades, the achievements of Italian Renaissance art, as conveyed by both printed graphics and the works and writings of Durer, enabled all genres of art north of the Alps to take a decisive step forwards.

Artists no longer went just to the Netherlands in order to study the originals of great masterpieces by painters such as Jan van Eyck c. Many German artists, however, merely fed on the indirect influence of printed graphics and did not journey to Italy themselves. Light, shade, splendor, the sublime, depths; and, although it has started from the position of a single object, the eye of the observer is offered much more than an aspect In Durer returned to Nuremberg and started by putting the knowledge and ideas he had gained during his five year journey into practice in printed graphics, though a few years later he also applied them to paintings.

The time after his journey can be termed the first high point in Durer's creative work, during which, in a very short period, he perfected his abilities and revolutionized printed graphics and painting in terms of function, methods of depiction, themes and technical methods in a way no other artist of his age did.

Between and about a dozen paintings and over sixty printed sheets were produced. The latter also comprise, in addition to almost the entire series of the Great Passion and the Apocalypse , seven large format single-leaf woodcuts and 25 engravings which he printed on his own printing press in the Nuremberg workshop he founded in , and upon which his international fame was to be based.

In addition, Durer was the first German artist to find new opportunities for production and distribution. Technical reproducibility, the possibility of reusing worked wood engraving blocks and copper plates as setting copies and printing high print runs, was something he used to a degree previously unknown.

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He was the first to introduce the production of printed graphics in his own publishing business on an equal footing with the running of a painter's workshop. In contrast to his teacher Michael Wolgemut, Durer produced his printed graphics in advance and not on commission. This meant that in this medium he was independent of the traditional iconography and of the prescriptions normally stipulated by paying customers when ordering works.

At that time, the artist was still considered to be a craftsman, an agent who had to meet the client's requirements. Durer's new method of using the medium of printed graphics made a considerable contribution towards changing artists' self-image in Germany and raising their social acceptability. In this way the artist emancipated himself from being a simple craftsman to being the more self-determined "creator" of new themes or new artistic interpretations of existing themes.

A sign of this increasing self-determination, independent of the traditional social understanding of artists, is the process of signing and dating printed graphics. The fact that Durer's copyright was shamefully ignored suggests that the signature was an attempt to guard against abuse. Letters which Durer wrote to Jakob Heller c. This is probably also the reason why the emphasis of his work during the first five years after the foundation of his workshop was on the area of printed graphics. During this time he perfected his engraving technique and achieved his own style which has yet to be surpassed technically.

Durer also applied the experience he gained in this way to woodcuts, which he liberated from their Late Gothic stylistic forms. He enabled both techniques, which he treated equally in his work, to achieve new pioneering forms of expression. In addition to the artistic, it was probably also the commercial possibilities of the new medium that proved decisive.

As early as Durer engaged his first art dealer, Conrad Swytzer, who was to offer the prints for sale at the highest possible prices - as established in the contract - by taking them "from one place to the next and from one town to the next. On the one hand, the city had been a center of parchment, and later of paper production since the Middle Ages, and on the other hand copper crafts were also widespread there, so that the workshops' demand for copper engraving plates could be met without difficulty.

The numerous Nuremberg city festivities, fairs with shooting matches, funfairs and annual "Heiltumsfest" provided an outstanding sales opportunity. Durer's earliest monogrammed copper engravings date from the time immediately after his first Italian journey, and they are still influenced by Martin Schongauer, particularly as regards their figural composition.

There are about 30 engravings dating from this period. They are not dated at this point, something that Durer started adding to his sheets from onwards. The course of Durer's artistic development in this technique can be followed in a sequence consisting of about 13 engravings. One can detect a gradual refinement of his use of lines which become continually more painterly and free. The turn of the century marked a fundamental change in Durer's style and view of the world. He studied the artistic theories of the Renaissance more intensively than ever, in particular the theory of the ideal proportions of the human body and central perspective.

His interest in these themes is documented in numerous works. Printed graphics also provided him with undreamed of opportunities for experimentation free of the prescriptions relating to commissioned works. For Durer, the year of , which was expected to signal the end of the world, started with the preparation of his Self-Portrait in a Fur-Collared Robe , his last and most famous self-portrait which is now in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich.

In it he included the sum of his artistic and humanist ideas and, at the same time, introduced a new period in his creative work. Since he gives his age as being 28 in the inscription, the painting must have been created before 21 May, Durer's birthday. Karel van Mander reports that he saw the picture in Nuremberg in and held it in his hand.


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Durer retained possession of the painting during his lifetime, but after his death it ended up in the "upper regimental chamber" of the Nuremberg town hall which was used as a sort of art gallery. In it was finally acquired by the royal collection in Munich. Without understanding the humanist content of the panel, one would assume from a modern perspective that Durer's self-portrait had a provocative effect at the time, since for the first and last time in Western art history an artist was portraying himself in the same style, in terms of composition and type, as Christ.

Such a strict frontal view had until then been reserved for depictions of Christ, and portraits traditionally made use of a half or three-quarter profile view. Durer used the geometric scheme of proportions in his self-portrait on which depictions of Christ had been based, and which had been reserved for this purpose, since Byzantine art. This was the scheme by which pictures of Christ appeared to be "vera icon," true portraits of the Savior.

It was in this sense that the form of the self-portrait was repeated a century later in Georg Vischer's painting of Christ and the Adulteress , which he created for the Bavarian Elector Maximilian I. Although Durer realistically reproduced his own physiognomic features such as bis large nose and differently sized eyes, the fine, illusionistic manner of painting gives the self-portrait an idealizing glow.

Durer is clutching his smart fur coat with one hand, the position of which is reminiscent of Christ's hand raised in blessing. The eye is particularly significant, being the painter's second "tool" after his hand. Hence, a small window is reflected in the portrayed artist's iris, and this should be viewed not as a naturalistic depiction of the workshop window, but as an expression of the classical topos "oculi fenestra animae," the eye as a window to the soul, which Durer had presumably heard about from Konrad Celtis The dark background helps us to concentrate on the figure of the artist.

The inscription, "Albertus Durerus Noricus ipsum me proprus sic effingebam coloribus aetatis anno xxviii" I, Albrecht Durer of Nuremberg, painted myself thus in everlasting paints at the age of twenty-eight years , emphasizes his intention to create a portrait for eternity. Five epigrams praising Durer, written by the Nuremberg humanist Konrad Celtis, date from the same time; they are written in the same antiquated script as the inscription on the self-portrait and have a similar wording. In them, Celtis stressed Durer's creative powers by comparing him to Apelles and Phidias 5th century B.

He also did not shy away from comparing him to the medieval philosopher Albertus Magnus c. These sources prove that Durer, in his self-portrait, was expressing the God-given "natural" similarity of the artist to Christ brought about by his quality as a creator. We do not know for certain what the purpose of the portrait was. The fact that the painting remained Durer's property for the rest of his life suggests that it had a didactic function as a teaching aid for his students and as a showpiece for his clients. The importance of the unity of "Harmonia" and "Symmetria" emphasized by classical authors such as Cicero B.

The strict frontal view also reminds us that sight was the sense that Durer valued the most highly, as can be deduced from the preface to his planned Treatise on Painting in In this respect, Durer appears here as the new Christian Apelles who sees himself as a creator in the service of God and as such takes up a forward-looking position. The Self-Portrait in a Fur-Collared Robe of is both the climax and the conclusion to Durer's three painted self-portraits.

This painting, produced at a turning point in his creative work, includes humanist ideas. Durer was also attempting to place his other works of the period on a new footing in the sense of a reformation of art in imitation of classical artists. During the following four years, numerous studies on human proportions were produced, encouraged by his meeting with the Italian artist Jacopo de Barbari c. This theme was to occupy Durer for the rest of his life and finally resulted in the Four Books on Human Proportions which were published posthumously.

This is the context within which his efforts to depict the ideal proportions of a horse should be seen, which manifests itself in various drawings and copper engravings such as the Large Horse and the Small Horse and reached perfection in Durer's masterly engraving of Knight, Death and the Devil.

In the third chapter of Vitruvius' famous treatise de architeetura , he considers human proportions and central perspective. This, and the rediscovery of a classical statue of Apollo in Rome as well as Jacopo de Barbari's copper engraving of Apollo and Diana , exerted considerable influence on the so-called Apollo Group and other studies on male and female proportions in imitation of the classical era that were finally to culminate in his famous masterpiece, the engraving of Adam and Eve.


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  • Books by Albrecht Dürer.
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Durer believed that classical artists had possessed the secret that he spent his entire life trying to track down "with compass and spirit level. An example of his studies of the proportions of the female body is the copper engraving that was created in about or , Nemesis or Good Fortune. George Church, Florida, coptic icon. Chair fallen over, Judas leaving with moneybag. Detailed woodcarving, part of an altarpiece. In this scene, Jesus is speaking to Judas, holding the moneybag. Shows Trinity in heaven just above a sacramental altar, showing the presence of the Godhead in the Lord's supper.

Tissot French painter and illustrator, Mosaic of Jesus at Last supper , St. Quite dramatic with interesting side themes. La Ultima Cena , Church Forum, contemporary,. An Ukrainian Icon Original work in National Art Museum, Kiev. Walter Rane, LDS illustrator. In Remembrance of Me. The Supper Quilt , by Donald E. It was last in California in , but has made more than appearances. Communion , stained glass window at Davis Memorial Christian Church.

Unknown contemporary artist, wood floor and table. Greg Olson, In Remembrance of Me. Jesus alone with silver chalice, pitcher, and plate of unleavened bread.

Albrecht Durer

The painting is from the perspective of Christ facing his disciples. You see Jesus' face reflected in the cup of red wine, the Chi Rho symbol in the broken bread, the cross, etc. Also has a painting of the foot washing. Available as a poster. Colorful Christ with arms spread, strong cobalt blue tones. Shows Bread and Wine at his feet. Oil on copper plate. The Last Supper , color illustration, crossmap Illustrations. Christ's Blood , unknown Czech artist. Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, Man of Sorrows n. Mic Carlson , contemporary painter and illustrator, has a number of paintings of St.

Francis, with a beautuful study of Francis praying. Follower of Caravaggio, anamorphic Saint Jerome Praying , , oil on canvas. Dante Gabriel Rossetti ,. Moses Praying on Mt. Gertrude Marsh, Hezekiah spread it before the Lord Alexandre Bida French painter and illustrator, With the Bida Illustrations. Unknown artist, Kneeling at Prayer Wall.

Unknown illustrator, Nehemiah weeps , Crossmap illustration, Initials J. In the Wilderness and In the Garden with a large angel behind Jesus. Eric Enstrom American photographer, , "Grace" , sepia photograph, later handpainted in oils by the artist's daughter Rhoda Nyberg. Image of white-bearded old man praying with clasped hands over a table with a loaf of bread, soup, and a Bible. Much, but not all, of the artwork linked to on this site is in the public domain worldwide due to the date of death of its author if it is was published outside of the U.

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