|| born , May 21, 1471, Imperial Free City of Nürnberg [Germany]
died April 6, 1528, Nürnberg
Durer was a Painter and printmaker generally regarded as the greatest German Renaissance artist. Durer paintings and works includes altarpieces and religious works , numerous portrait paintings and self-portraits . His woodcuts, such as the Apocalypse series (1498), retain a more Gothic flavour than the rest of his work.
Education and early career.
Durer was the second son of the goldsmith Albrecht Durer the Elder, who had left Hungary to settle in Nürnberg in 1455, and of Barbara Holper, who had been born there. Durer began his training as a draughtsman in the goldsmith’s workshop of his father. Durer's precocious skill is evidenced by a remarkable self-portrait done in 1484, when he was 13 years old (Albertina, Vienna), and by a “Madonna
First journey to Italy.
At the end of May 1494, Durer returned to Nürnberg, where he soon married Agnes Frey, the daughter of a merchant. In the autumn of 1494 Durer seems to have undertaken his first journey to Italy, where he remained until the spring of 1495. A number of bold landscape watercolour paintings dealing with subjects from the Alps of the southern Tirol were made on this journey and are among Dürer’s most
Second journey to Italy.
In the autumn of 1505, Durer made a second journey to Italy, where he remained until the winter of 1507. Once again he spent most of his time in Venice. Of the Venetian artists, Durer now most admired Giovanni Bellini, the leading master of Venetian early Renaissance painting, who, in his later paintings, completed the transition to the High Renaissance. Durer paintings of men and women
Development after the second Italian trip.
By February 1507 at the latest, Dürer was back in Nürnberg, where two years later he acquired an impressive house (which still stands and is preserved as a museum). It is clear that the artistic impressions gained from his Italian trips continued to influence Dürer to employ classical principles in creating largely original compositions. Among the paintings belonging
Service to Maximilian I.
While in Nürnberg in 1512, the Holy Roman emperor Maximilian I enlisted Durer into his service, and Dürer continued to work mainly for the emperor until 1519. Durer collaborated with several of the greatest German artists of the day on a set of marginal drawings for the emperor’s prayer book. Durer also completed a number of etchings in iron (between 1515 and 1518) that demonstrate his mastery
Final journey to the Netherlands.
In July 1520 Dürer embarked with his wife on a journey through the Netherlands. In Aachen, at the October 23 coronation of the emperor Charles V, successor to Maximilian I (who had died in 1519), Dürer met and presented several etchings to the mystical and dramatic Matthias Grünewald, who stood second only to Dürer in contemporary German art. Durer returned to Antwerp by way of Nijmegen
By July, the travelers were back in Nürnberg, but Dürer’s health had started to decline. Durer devoted his remaining years mostly to theoretical and scientific writings and illustrations, although several well-known character portraits and some important portrait engravings and woodcuts also date from this period.