Cool facts about Dürer

11:32 AM

 A young hare by Albert Düurer, 1502

Albrecht Dürer was a German painter and printmaker from the 16th century. He is considered to be the most important artist of the Northern Renaissance  He produced several altarpieces, religious works, portraits and cooper engraving. He also wrote theoretical works on Art in German, rather than in Latin which was the norm. Here's some interesting information about him:

When Giovanni Bellini asked for one of Durer’s special brushes for painting animals, Durer lent him an ordinary brush. Giovanni said: “I already have this one.” “Ah!”, replied Durer.

- His famous "Rhinocerus" was used in biology classes in German schools until 1939.

- He was the 1st artist to develop his own logo (the AD that can be seen in both pictures above).

- He made several self portraits, as a way of preparing for other activities and not being idle.

- His beautiful engraving from 1514, Melencolia I, was and still is extensively discussed and interpreted. In it we see "an angel sitting in the middle of a construction site, surrounded by hammers, planes and geometrical devices. It wears a dark and withdrawn countenance while Saturn radiates nocturnal light over the ocean behind." Art historian Erwin Panofsky initiated the modern reinterpretation of this work with the publication of his work Saturn and Melancholy. He proposes that Durer's work shows Melancholy not as a negative, undesirable state but a state connected to genius and intellectual work. There's a great article about it in The Guardian.

Lastly, I'm a big believer in studying, experiencing and, dare I say?, living, art in person. Even though most of my art education comes from books, I check out new exhibits at local museums and try as much as I can to travel to New York and D. C. to visit the collections in bigger museums. If you'd like to check out when a Durer exhibit is coming near you, Artsy is a good resource for upcoming shows (they also offer Durer's works and articles about them in case you, like me, have to marvel at Durer's genius from home).

What do you think of Dürer's works?

Sources:  1 to 4 Creators by Paul Johnson
                      5 The Guardian

All images via Wikipedia

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  1. he's an amazing artist, I especially like his self-portraits but Melencolia I is an incredibly enduring work, I think we'll still be asking questions about it in many many years to come!

    1. I really like Melencolia and I agree with you, the discussion over it won't ever be finished - which is great. xx

  2. I have drawn the rhino one when I was in secondary school


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