Albrecht Dürer is one of the most influential and important Artists to the Renaissance, specifically in Northern Europe. His work of multiple medias and various religious symbolism inspired Artists for generations including Raphael. Many consider him as the fifth great artist next to Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello.
BiographyDürer was born in Nuremberg Germany in 1471 during the early Renaissance (in Northern Europe). His father was a goldsmith whom he learned the basics of drawing and woodcutting from. Also, his godfather was a printer and publisher which also aided in Dürer’s development of skills. When Dürer was only firteen he became the assistant/apprentice of Michel Wolgemut, a leading and skilled Nuremberg printer of the time. Dürer latter would travel throughout Germany, learning the trade from the experts in Strasberg, Colmar and Basel. He perfected his skills of the German traditional art of the times.
In the summer of 1494, at the age of twenty-three after his return to Nuremberg, he was arranged to marry Agnes Frey by both of their families. Italy, having close trade with Nuremberg, was where Dürer traveled next after a plague broke out in his hometown. He spent a year in Venice in 1494, improving his skills and creating various works of art. When returning home he was able to make a career of printmaking and painting. He set out for Venice again in 1505 after another plague broke out in Nuremberg.
Dürer returned to Nuremberg in 1507 and did little travel after. His work became popular in this stage in his life, even attracting the attention of Emperor Maximilian I in 1512, who gave Dürer several commissions. In his last few years Dürer got more into theoretical writing, publishing some books. He died on April 6, 1528 (age 56) most likely due to a malaria infection contracted when he was in Zeeland in 1521. His work only grew more popular after his death. Dürer’s WorkHis primary forms of media were oil paintings, engravings and printmaking. The themes of his paintings were almost always religious in some way, more specifically christianity. Many of his smaller works included animals as the main subject.
He also made portraits for important people of the time. Dürer expanded the growth of the renaissance in northern Europe and helped inspire one of the most recognizable painter and architect. He also created some of the best engravings known. He was quoted as saying, “If a man devotes himself to art, much evil is avoided that happens otherwise if one is idle.
“Opinion on the ArtistI like the dramatic scenes in his engravings. I think it gives it an interesting feeling of amazement, curiosity and shock. The fact that the engravings are not in colour helps with this.
There is a lot to focus on in these works and all the little details help with setting the mood. I dislike that in some of his engravings things in the background can look a little out of proportion or stretched. This is probably due to the fact that these works are engravings. I will always remember the complex scenes of battles and interesting symbolism from this artist’s work. In closing…Albrecht Dürer is a very important figure when it comes to the renaissance.
His engravings and oil paintings are some of the most famous centuries after his passing. The world of art would be very different today without him.