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Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer

(1471 - 1528)
Born: Nuremberg, Netherlands
Style: Northern Renaissance
Famous Works:
  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (c. 1497-98)
  • Self-Portrait at the Age of Twenty Eight (1500)
  • Hands of an Apostle (1508)
Albrecht Dürer's career is most well known for his ability to coalesce the styles of Northern European and Italian art. Dürer received his training in creating woodcuts in Nuremberg. During this time he came across the prints of Andrea Mantegna and Antonio Pollaiuolo, members of the Early Italian Renaissance. Dürer became intrigued by the extreme advances of the Renaissance, admiring the ideas of the Classicists. Dürer felt that artists of the north paled in comparison to their colleagues in the south. The artist traveled to Italy in 1495 to study Italian art and the principles of the Renaissance. In two trips to Italy during his lifetime, Dürer would find tremendous inspiration, continually infusing properties of the Italian masterworks into his own. This quest to introduce modern artistic sensibilities to the north was a career long goal. While in Italy, Dürer met Venetian Giovanni Bellini, whose Humanist theories interested Dürer considerably. This international network established the artist as a celebrity in his native Germany, where he wrote papers on perspective, and other discoveries of the south. He created an extensive set of self-portraits throughout his life, the first dating from when he was thirteen. The concept of immortalizing one's self was new in the north, and before Dürer, artists had only painted patrons and leaders. Technically few artists surpass Dürer's virtuosity in woodcut and engraving. He possessed a deep understanding of the structure of the human body, color, and line, which allowed his prints and engravings to gain immense popularity both during his lifetime and today.
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