10 Interesting Facts about Albrecht Durer

These following facts about Albrecht Durer should definitely provide you much information about this artist. Albrecht Durer was a German painter, engraver, printmaker, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His high-quality woodcuts established his reputation and influence across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since. His vast body of work includes altarpieces, religious works, numerous portraits and self-portraits, and copper engravings.Furthermore, to get to know more about this artist, here are some other facts about Albrecht Durer you might be interested in.

Facts about Albrecht Durer 1: Important Figures

Dürer’s introduction of classical motifs into Northern art, through his knowledge of Italian artists and German humanists, has secured his reputation as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance.

Facts about Albrecht Durer 2: Masterworks

Despite the regard in which he was held by the Venetians, Dürer returned to Nuremberg by mid-1507, remaining in Germany until 1520. His reputation had spread throughout Europe and he was on friendly terms and in communication with most of the major artists including Raphael, Giovanni Bellini and mainly through Lorenzo di Credi, Leonardo da Vinci.

Facts about Albrecht Durer - Albrecht Durer
Facts about Albrecht Durer – Albrecht Durer

Facts about Albrecht Durer 3: Legacy and Influence

Dürer exerted a huge influence on the artists of succeeding generations, especially in printmaking, the medium through which his contemporaries mostly experienced his art, as his paintings were predominately in private collections located in only a few cities. His success in spreading his reputation across Europe through prints was undoubtedly an inspiration for major artists such as Raphael, Titian, and Parmigianino, all of whom collaborated with printmakers in order to promote and distribute their work.

Facts about Albrecht Durer 4: Engraving

His work in engraving seems to have had an intimidating effect upon his German successors, the “Little Masters” who attempted few large engravings but continued Dürer’s themes in small, rather cramped compositions. Lucas van Leyden was the only Northern European engraver to successfully continue to produce large engravings in the first third of the 16th century.

Facts about Albrecht Durer - Adam and Eve
Facts about Albrecht Durer – Adam and Eve

Facts about Albrecht Durer 5: Theoretical Works

In all his theoretical works, in order to communicate his theories in the German language rather than in Latin, Dürer used graphic expressions based on a vernacular, craftsmen’s language. For example, ‘Schneckenlinie’ (‘snail-line’) was his term for a spiral form.

Facts about Albrecht Durer 6: Geometry

Dürer’s work on geometry is called the Four Books on Measurement (Instructions for Measuring with Compass and Rules). The first book focuses on linear geometry. Dürer’s geometric constructions include helices, conchoids and epicycloids. He also draws on Apollonius, and Johanness Werner’s Libellus super viginti duobus elementis conicis’ of 1522.

Facts about Albrecht Durer - Engraving
Facts about Albrecht Durer – Engraving

Facts about Albrecht Durer 7: Human Proportions

Dürer’s work on human proportions is called the Four Books on Human Proportion of 1528. The first book was mainly composed by 1512/13 and completed by 1523, showing five differently constructed types of both male and female figures, all parts of the body expressed in fractions of the total height.

Facts about Albrecht Durer 8: Influence

In painting, Dürer had relatively little influence in Italy, where probably only his altarpiece in Venice was seen, and his German successors were less effective in blending German and Italian styles. His intense and self-dramatizing self-portraits have continued to have a strong influence up to the present, especially on painters in the 19th and 20th century who desired a more dramatic portrait style.

Facts about Albrecht Durer - Etching
Facts about Albrecht Durer – Etching

Facts about Albrecht Durer 9: Protestant Sympathies

Dürer’s later works have also been claimed to show Protestant sympathies. For example, his engraving of The Last Supper of 1523 has often been understood to have an evangelical theme, focussing as it does on Christ espousing the Gospel, as well the inclusion of the Eucharistic cup, an expression of Protestant utraquism, although this interpretation has been questioned.

Facts about Albrecht Durer 10: Durer’s Study

Dürer’s study of human proportions and the use of transformations to a coordinate grid to demonstrate facial variation inspired similar work by D’Arcy Thompson in his book “On Growth and Form”.

Facts about Albrecht Durer - Self-portrait
Facts about Albrecht Durer – Self-portrait

Hope you would find those Albrecht Durer facts interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.

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