Albrecht Durer - The German Renaissance
Albrecht Durer (1471 – 1528) was well known as a theorist of the German Renaissance. He was also popular as a German painter and printmaker. When he was only twenty years old, he established a good reputation because of his high-quality woodcut prints across the European region. His preferred technique for the body of work was engravings. This engravings technique can be found in his later prints, portraits, self-portraits, books, watercolors, and altarpieces. His woodcuts series are the more Gothic arts (medieval style of art) if looking into his work. Durer's most popular engravings works involve the three master prints (Meisterstiche)- Melencolia I (1514), Knight, Death and the Devil (1513), and Saint Jerome in his Study (1514).
Moreover, he was remarkable for his watercolors to work. Also, this watercolor work made him the first European landscape artist. He had a good connection with major Italian artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Giovanni Bellini. He was indulged by Emperor Maximilian I from 1512.
Along with the time, Durer was reputed as one of the most significant figures of the Northern Renaissance due to his classical motifs introduction into Northern art. He made it possible with his knowledge of German humanists and Italian artists. Hence, this is strengthened by his theoretical treatises that imply ideal proportions, mathematical principles, and perspective.
Albrecht Durer was born on 21 May 1471 in Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire. He was the second son and third child of Barbara Holper and Albrecht Dürer the Elder, a successful goldsmith. After few years in school, his father trained him in the basics of drawing and goldsmithing. Although his father wanted him to get trained for goldsmithing work, he showed a lack of interest. And he had more attraction towards drawing.
In 1486, Durer was only fifteen years old, and he started to work with German painter and printmaker Michael Wolgemutas an apprentice. On 7 July 1494, he was 23 years old, and he got married to Agnes Frey, who was the daughter of a prominent brass worker of Nuremberg city. This marriage was not considered a happy marriage life. They did not have any children. Albrecht was considered homosexual or bisexual because many of his works indicate the intimate nature of male friends and themes of homosexual desire. After three months of his marriage, he started his first journey towards Italy for some works, and again for the second time in 1505–1507.
From 1507 to 1511, Dürer had given more focus on some of his most celebrated painting work: Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand (1508), Adam and Eve (1507), Adoration of the Trinity (1511), the altarpiece Assumption of the Virgin (1509), and Virgin with the Iris (1508).
His theoretical works:
Albrecht Durer had used the German language in all his theories and gave less attention to the Latin language. He used graphic expressions based on craftsmen's and vernacular language. For this, "Schneckenlinie" ("snail-line") is a great example.
He also gave four books on measurements such as:
- Instructions for Measuring with Compass and Ruler
- the construction of regular polygons
- Principles of geometry to architecture, engineering, and typography
- Underweysung der Messung
List of Famous Paintings:
St Jerome in the Wilderness (1495): This painting has used oil on panel technique.
Virgin and Child before an Archway (1495 c.): This painting was around48 × 36 cm in dimension. AndDurer used the oil on panel technique in this painting.
Heavenly scene (1496): This painting's dimension was 23 × 17 cm. And the painting had used the oil on panel technique.
Portrait of Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony (1496): This painting tempera on canvas technique, was used. And its dimension was 76 × 57 cm.
The Seven Sorrows of the Virgin (1496 c.): The oil on panel technique used in this painting. This painting's dimension was 63 × 46 cm (each side panel),109 × 43 cm (central panel).
Saint Jerome in the Wilderness (1496): This painting was made with oil on a panel. And its dimension was 23 × 17 cm.
Dresden Altarpiece (1496): This painting has used the technique of oil on canvas with dimensions, i.e., 114 × 45 cm (each wing), 117 × 96.5 cm (central panel).
Portrait of a Young Furleger with Her Hair Done Up (1497): This painting had involved the oil on canvas technique and used the dimension of 56.5 × 42.5 cm.
Other List of Famous Engravings:
Сonversion of Paul (1494): Durer had used copper engraving techniques with 295 × 217 mm dimensions for the work.
The Great Courier (1494–1495): This engraving work has used 100 × 115 mm dimension and copper engraving Techniques.
Young Woman Attacked by Death; or the Ravisher (1495–1495): In this work, he used copper engraving technique and 110 × 92 mm dimension.
The Holy Family with the Dragonfly (1495): He used copper engraving techniques with 151 × 140 mm for this work.
Five Lansquenets and an Oriental on Horseback (1495): This engraving work has used the dimension of 133 × 147 and used the copper engraving technique.
The Ill-Assorted Couple, or the Offer of Love (1495): In this work, 151 × 140 mm dimension had used with the copper engraving technique.
St Jerome Penitent in the Wilderness (1494–1498): Durer had used copper engraving techniques with the dimension of 316 × 225 mm.
The Penance of St John Chrysostom (1494–1498): The copper engraving technique was used in work in 183 × 119 mm.
List of famous woodcuts:
- Saint Jerome (1492)
- Lamentation for the Dead Christ(1495)
- Martyrdom of St Sebastian(1495)
- Christ on the Cross Between the Virgin and Saint John(1493)
- St. Christopher Crossing the Stream(1528)
Albrecht Durer died on 6 April 1528 at the age of 56 in Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire. His demise was a big loss to the drawing field. One can be easily mesmerized by his painting.
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