Archive for the ‘Albrecht Durer’ Category

If a man devotes himself to art, much evil is avoided that happens otherwise if one is idle.

June 17, 2009

Albrecht Durer

  

Adam and Eve  1504

ALBRECHT DURER, perhaps the greatest German artist of the Renaissance era, began his career in the Imperial Free City of Nuernberg with his father, a Hungarian goldsmith who had emigrated to Germany in 1455. Despite his goldsmith origins, however, by 1484 Durer had already begun painting. In 1486 he was apprenticed to the painter and printmaker Michael Wolgumut and began to work with woodcuts and copper engravings as well.

Beginning in 1490 Durer travelled widely for study, including trips to Italy in 1494 and 1505-7 and to Antwerp and the Low Countries in 1520-1. During his visit to Venice on his second Italian trip Durer was especially influenced by Giovanni Bellini and Bellini’s brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna, each then near the end of his career. In The Uffizi: A Guide to the Gallery (Venice: Edizione Storti, 1980, p. 57) Umberto Fortis comments that Durer’s journeys enabled him “to fuse the Gothic traditions of the North with the achievements in perspective, volumetric and plastic handling of forms, and color of the Italians in an original synthesis which was to have great influence with the Italian Mannerists.”

The period between his Italian trips was one of great productivity and artistic growth, characterized by his publication, 1496-8, of a portfolio of woodcuts, The Apocalypse of St. John. Scholars have suggested that the portfolio may have been intended as a veiled expression of support for the Reformation, with Babylon used as a surrogate for Rome.

Beginning at least as early as 1512, Durer became portraitist to the rich and famous of his time, including Emperor Maximilian I, c. 1518, and Christian II of Denmark, 1521. Other sitters included Jacob Fugger and other prominent merchants, clergy and government officials. An early chalk and watercolor portrait by Durer, 1494-5, appears to copy Gentile Bellini’s profile painting, now lost, of Queen Caterina Cornaro (B-31) following her surrender of her throne in Cyprus and retirement to her native Venice. Shown here are Durer’s own self-portraits at ages 22, 26 and 28 (now in the collections of the Louvre, Prado and Alte Pinakothek of Munich).

Durer expressed his theories on proportion in The Four Books on Human Proportions, published posthumously in 1528.

http://www.boglewood.com/cornaro/xdurer.html

If a man devotes himself to art, much evil is avoided that happens otherwise if one is idle.

April 25, 2009

Albrecht Dürer

Praying Hands 1508

Albrecht Dürer is the greatest exponent of Northern European Renaissance art. While an important painter, in his own day Dürer was renowned foremost for his graphic works. Artists across Europe admired and copied Dürer’s innovative and powerful prints, ranging from religious and mythological scenes, to maps and exotic animals.

Technically, Dürer’s prints are exemplary for their detail and precision. The son of a goldsmith, Dürer was trained as a metalworker at a young age. He applied the same meticulous, exacting methods required in this delicate work to his woodcuts and engravings, notably the Four Horsemen of his Apocalypse series (1498), and his Knight, Death and Devil (1513).

Dürer’s training also involved travel and study abroad. He went to Italy in 1494, and returned again in 1505-6. Contact with Italian painters resonated deeply in his art. Influenced by Venetian artists, who were renowned for the richness of their palette, Dürer placed greater importance on colour in his paintings. His Feast of the Rose Garlands (1506), removed any doubt that, as well as a master of prints, he was an accomplished painter.

Dürer was also a great admirer of Leonardo da Vinci. He was intrigued by the Italian master’s studies of the human figure, and after 1506 applied and adapted Leonardo’s proportions to his own figures, as is evident in his drawings. Later in his life, in the 1520’s, he illustrated and wrote theoretical treatises instructing artists in perspective and proportion.

Dürer was a humanist and a creator. His awareness of his own role as an artist is apparent in his frontal, Christ-like Self Portrait, 1500, just one of many self portraits that he painted in his career. More than simply producing works for his own time, Dürer saw his fame and his contribution as enduring, and as part of history.

http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/durer_albrecht.html

If a man devotes himself to art, much evil is avoided that happens otherwise if one is idle.

January 18, 2009

Albrecht Durer

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse  1497/98

ALBRECHT DURER, perhaps the greatest German artist of the Renaissance era, began his career in the Imperial Free City of Nuernberg with his father, a Hungarian goldsmith who had emigrated to Germany in 1455. Despite his goldsmith origins, however, by 1484 Durer had already begun painting. In 1486 he was apprenticed to the painter and printmaker Michael Wolgumut and began to work with woodcuts and copper engravings as well.
Beginning in 1490 Durer travelled widely for study, including trips to Italy in 1494 and 1505-7 and to Antwerp and the Low Countries in 1520-1. During his visit to Venice on his second Italian trip Durer was especially influenced by Giovanni Bellini and Bellini’s brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna, each then near the end of his career. In The Uffizi: A Guide to the Gallery (Venice: Edizione Storti, 1980, p. 57) Umberto Fortis comments that Durer’s journeys enabled him “to fuse the Gothic traditions of the North with the achievements in perspective, volumetric and plastic handling of forms, and color of the Italians in an original synthesis which was to have great influence with the Italian Mannerists.”
The period between his Italian trips was one of great productivity and artistic growth, characterized by his publication, 1496-8, of a portfolio of woodcuts, The Apocalypse of St. John. Scholars have suggested that the portfolio may have been intended as a veiled expression of support for the Reformation, with Babylon used as a surrogate for Rome.
Beginning at least as early as 1512, Durer became portraitist to the rich and famous of his time, including Emperor Maximilian I, c. 1518, and Christian II of Denmark, 1521. Other sitters included Jacob Fugger and other prominent merchants, clergy and government officials. An early chalk and watercolor portrait by Durer, 1494-5, appears to copy Gentile Bellini’s profile painting, now lost, of Queen Caterina Cornaro following her surrender of her throne in Cyprus and retirement to her native Venice. Shown here are Durer’s own self-portraits at ages 22, 26 and 28 (now in the collections of the Louvre, Prado and Alte Pinakothek of Munich).
Durer expressed his theories on proportion in The Four Books on Human Proportions, published posthumously in 1528.

http://www.boglewood.com/cornaro/xdurer.html

If a man devotes himself to art, much evil is avoided that happens otherwise if one is idle.

May 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Albrecht Durer 

Albrecht Dürer, the most gifted painter and engraver of the German Renaissance and Reformation period, was born in Nuremberg. He learned the techniques of engraving in the workshop of his father, a goldsmith, before being apprenticed in 1486 to the realistic Flemish painter Michael Wolgemuth. Dürer’s earliest recognized work was a self-portrait painted at the age of thirteen. It was the first in a series that continued throughout his life, indicative of an introspective self-analysis. By 1493, after a trip to Colmar where he admired the paintings and engravings of Martin Schongauer, his self-portraits indicated a questioning and deeply thoughtful spirit. Dürer went to Venice for the first time in 1494 bringing back with him copies of Mantegna’s works and many watercolor and pencil sketches of nature.

The Renaissance ideal of the complete man – the artist as scholar and gentleman – appealed to Dürer who had begun his lifelong search for new ideas, theories, and techniques, and for the solution to the problem of combining realism with abstract concepts. Upon his return to Nuremberg, where he remained for ten years, he devoted himself largely to the making of woodcuts and engravings, refining the woodcut to a degree hitherto unknown and raising it to the highest form of graphic art. His prints were distributed all over Europe and when he returned to Italy in 1505, he was received with respect and admiration. Dürer worked and studied in Venice and Bologna for two years, then returned to Nuremberg where he remained until 1520 when he made a trip to the Low Countries to study the older Flemish masters.

Dürer’s paintings are beautifully composed, masterfully lit, and rhythmically strong. He sought a fusion between the spirit of the Renaissance and that of the Reformation in serious, moral, and often symbolic subjects. During his later years he devoted considerable time to writing and illustrating a book on theories of art based on Piero della Francesca’s earlier work with perspective. In his final period, as he became more firmly certain of the truth of the idea of the Reformation, his work grew more and more austere in manner and subject. “The Four Apostles”, called his “testament,” was painted in 1526 and this powerfully classical work seems to reconcile the northern Reformation with Italian classical painting.

Birth Year : 1471
Death Year : 1528
Country : Germany

http://www.dropbears.com/a/art/biography/Albrecht_Durer.html