Germany's great Renaissance illustrator and printmaker, Albrecht Dürer is considered to be one of the great artists of the Northern European Renaissance. He was born on may 21, 1471. Disciplined in his father's goldsmith shop and apprenticed to one of Nuremberg's best artists, Dürer adapted an early talent for drawing and engraving. Influenced in style by trips to Venice and Italy. Dürer produced world wide famous works by the time he was 30 years old, he painted just about everything, and with amazing skill.
Durer produced hundreds of paintings, thousands of drawings, nearly 400 woodcuts and more than 100 engravings and etchings. He portrayed everyday objects, broad religious themes, his family and himself, and all of his work was done with a mastery of form and detail. After 1512, Dürer had official duties under Emperor Maximilian I and his successor, Charles V, and was known to have associated with luminaries such as Erasmus and Raphael. Some of Dürer's most famous works include his Apocalypse series of woodcuts, the paintings Feast of the Rose Garlands and The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand and his written work on geometry and art theory, Treatise on Measurement.
The painters of Upper Germany at this time, working in the spirit of the late Gothic style just before the dawn of the Renaissance, show considerable technical attainments, with a love of quaint costumes and rich draperies crumpled in complicated angular folds, some feeling for romance in landscape backgrounds, none at all for clearness or balance in composition, and in the attitudes and expressions of their overcrowded figures a degree of grotesqueness and exaggeration amounting often to undesigned caricature. There were also produced in the workshop of Wolgemut, as in that of other artist-craftsmen of his town, a great number of woodcuts for book illustration. We cannot with certainty identify any of these as being by the 'prentice hand of the young Dürer. Authentic drawings done by...
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