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Albrecht Durer t he man who modernized arts “Why has God given me such magnificent talent? It is a curse as well as a great blessingAlbrecht Durer

Albrecht Durer of Nuremberg

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Page 1: Albrecht Durer of Nuremberg

Albrecht Durerthe man who modernized arts

“Why has God given me

such magnificent talent? It is

a curse as well as a great


Albrecht Durer

Page 2: Albrecht Durer of Nuremberg

Who is Albrecht Durer?Albrecht Durer is the greatest exponent of Northern

European Renaissance art. While an important painter,

in his own day Durer was renowned foremost for his

graphic works. Artists across Europe admired and copied

Durer's innovative and powerful prints, ranging from

religious and mythological scenes, to maps and exotic

animals. Durer 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, Durer saw his fame and

his contribution as enduring, and as part of history.

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What has Albrecht Durer done?

He influenced

European art

Theory of Art


Art of fortification

Adoption of Lutheranism in Nuremberg

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Durer’s biography

Albrecht Durer was the third son of Albrecht

Durer and Barbara Holfer. He was one of their

eighteen children.

Portrait Diptych of

Durer's Parents


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Albrecht Durer was born on May 21st

1471 in Imperial Free City of


At the age of fifteen Durer was

apprenticed to the principal painter of

the town, Michael Wolgemut, a prolific

if undistinguished producer of small

works in the late Gothic style. Durer

learned not only painting but also

wood carving and elementary copper

engraving under Wolgemut. At the end

of his apprenticeship in 1490 he

travelled (Wanderjahre). He practiced in

Colmar, Basel and in the Low

Countries (Holland) before he

returned to Nuremberg. From this

period, little of the work that can be

attributed to him with certainty


Portrait of the Artist Holding a Thistle


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On July 9, 1494 Durer was

married, according to an

arrangement made during

his absence, to Agnes Frey,

the daughter of a local

merchant. His relationship

with his wife is unclear and

her reputation has suffered

from a posthumous assault

by Durer's friends. He did

not remain in Nuremberg

long; in the autumn of 1494

he travelled to Italy, leaving

his wife at Nuremberg. Agnes Durer (1494)

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More than any other NorthernEuropean artist, Durer wasengaged by the artistic practicesand theoretical interests of Italy.He visited the country twice,from 1494 to 1495 and againfrom 1505 to 1507, absorbingfirsthand some of the greatworks of the Italian Renaissance,as well as the classicalheritage and theoretical writingsof the region. The influenceof Venetian color and design canbe seen in the Feast of the RoseGarlands altarpiece (1506)

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Durer was back in Nuremberg by mid-1507. He remained in Germany until 1520. His reputation spread all over Europe. He was on terms of friendship or friendly communication with all the masters of the age, and Raphael held himself honored in exchanging drawings with Durer.

Durer lived and worked in this house from 1509 to 1528. Now it’s a museum

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Durer's talent, ambition,

and sharp, wide-ranging

intellect earned him the

attention and friendship of

some of the most

prominent figures in

German society. He

became official court

artist to Holy Roman

Emperors Maximilian I and

his successor Charles V,

for whom Durer designed

and helped execute a

range of artistic projects.Emperor Maximilian


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After another journey to the Netherlands

Durer finally returned home in July 1521,

having caught an undetermined illness

which afflicted him for the rest of his life.

Back in Nuremberg he began work on a

series of religious pictures. Many

preliminary sketches and studies survive,

but no paintings on the grand scale were

ever carried out. This was due in part to

his declining health, but more because of

the time he gave to the preparation of his

theoretical works on geometry and

perspective, proportion and fortification.

Albrecht Durer died

on April 6th 1528

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Durer’s influence on the European artDurer developed a new

interest in the human form, as

demonstrated by his nude and

antique studies. He was also

one of the first artists to

depict animals


“As I grew older, I realized that it

was much better to insist on the

genuine forms of nature, for

simplicity is the greatest adornment

of art”

Albrecht Durer

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Durer’s influence on theory of artHe wrote Four Books of Human

Proportion (Vier Bücher von

menschlichen Proportion), only

the first of which was published

during his lifetime (1528), as well

as an introductory manual of

geometric theory for students

(Underweysung der Messung,

1525), which includes the first

scientific treatment of perspective

by a Northern European artist.

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Durer’s influence on mathematicsDescriptive geometry originated

with Durer in his introductory manual of geometric theory for

students although it was only put on a sound mathematical basis in

later works of mathematicians. One of the methods of

overcoming the problems of projection, and describing the

movement of bodies in space, is descriptive geometry. Durer's remarkable achievement was

through applying mathematics to art, he developed such

fundamentally new and important ideas within

mathematics itself.

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Durer’s influence on the art of fortification

In 1527 Durer publishedanother work, this time onfortifications. There werestrong reasons why heproduced a work onfortifications at this time,for the people of Germanywere in fear of an invasionby the Turks. Many cities,including Nuremberg,would improve theirfortifications using themethods set out by Durerin this book.

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Durer’s influence on the adoption of

Lutheranism in NurembergIn Nuremberg, a vibrant center of humanism and one of the first to officially embrace the principles of the Reformation, Durer had access to some of Europe's outstanding theologians and scholars, including Erasmus, Philipp Melanchthon, and Willibald Pirkheimer, each captured by the artist in shrewd portraits. For Nuremberg's town hall, the artist painted two panels of the Four Apostles (1526), bearing texts in Martin Luther's translation that pay tribute to the city's adoption of Lutheranism.

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Durer’s art is so multifarious! Explore it!

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This a l l i s DURER

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Resources used• http://www.albrecht-durer.org/biography.html

• http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/durr/hd_durr.htm

• http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Biographies/Durer.html

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

• http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/albrecht_durer.html

• http://meganandvince.blogspot.ru/2011/03/nuremberg-bavarian-secret-to-pass-on.html