Durer: One of the Great German Artists

by Carl Nordenfalk

Maximilian 1

Maximilian 1

Albrecht Durer was one of the great masters who should really have belonged to the Italian Renaissance period.

He was well known for his treatises on perspective, geometry, maths and the philosophies—his was in fact an intellectual giant...few have come close.

He's one of my favorite masters of yesteryear. As you may know, his father was an immigrant from Hungary who settled in Nuremburg to work as a goldsmith.

From the start, Albrecht had quite an appetite for drawing and painting. At a young age he was tutored by Michael Wolgemut who's basic skills were woodcut designing.

He was lucky enough in 1512 to be appointed by the Roman Emperor Maximilian 1 employing him as the court painter.

After Maximilian died, Durer started copper engraving and woodcuts. At this time in his life he was influenced by Bellini and Mantegna in their ability to portray the nude.

I think Durer felt invalidated by their painting and drawing skills. After several years passed, Durer returned to Italy where he became hooked entirely by the Italian Renaissance. See his Adam and Eve painting of 1507...his last painting was the Four Apostles of 1526.

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