Albrecht Dürer

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Albrecht Dürer

German artist extraordinaire Albrecht Dürer was a well renowned painter who revolutionized the concept of printmaking in the German Renaissance. Apart from being a painter and printmaker, Dürer was also a very good writer and mathematician. He possessed a very strong knowledge of other artists and writers; his thorough study of both has been translated well into his works. Dürer also had very strong ties with fellow great artists like Leonardo do Vinci, Raphael and Giovanni Bellini. There was an immense amount of respect and devotion to each other’s works when it came to Dürer’s relationship with these fellow great artists.

Albrecht Dürer was born in May 21, 1471 in Nuremberg, the third child of a family comprising of 18 children. Dürer’s father was a respected goldsmith, and it is his early years as training as an apprentice with his father where Dürer learned the art of printmaking. This skill was then utilized fittingly when he embarked on his journey as an artist. Dürer basically took the simple art of printmaking and turned it into another form of art altogether; it gave his works another dramatic life altogether. Another distinct thing about Dürer was the level of softness and delicacy he displayed in his engravings and paintings. It came down to Dürer’s own soft nature, which he inherited from his father who was an inspiration for Dürer. Art lovers believe that in some of his works Dürer was in fact trying to re-create the melodious softness of his father’s nature, unlike most artists Dürer was raised in a close knit family. Dürer was also very famous for his hallmark landscapes which were mostly imbedded in the use of deep watercolors. Dürer’s love for mathematics was also translated into his paintings, Melancholia  I, which features his magic square – he loved the number 34 for some reason. The portrait contains an intellectual sitting in deep thought while there is scientific equipment laying around him in an untidy manner. On the right side of the figure is Dürer’s magic square which is a quadrant of numbers in horizontal and vertical lines all adding up to the number 34. There exist deep layers of engravings and wood carvings in some of Durer’s works like Salvator Mundi, and The Cannon. Due to Durer’s religious upbringing religion is also another vital player of Durer’s works.

Perhaps Dürer’s most famous painting to this date remains The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse. A simple painting in black and white, yet it is very haunting and has a sense of foreboding. It is religious in nature, and has 4 main figures along with a heavy background. A trip to Italy in his later years provided him with an insight into the human form, this was followed by his works comprising of semi nude paintings with a classical approach. Dürer’s most famous work consisting of human subjects is that of Adam and Eve – it is an engraving depicting both religious characters in an almost romantic gesture one can say. Both figures seem as if they are reaching out to one another, the engraving is finely detailed with the white color making them stand out even more. Italy also inspired Dürer to make The Altarpiece of the Rose Garlands, Jesus among the Doctors and Adoration of the Trinity. Side by side painting, Albrecht Dürer also developed a reputation for being thoroughly knowledgeable and an artist who was eager to show his work.

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