1471 - 1528
Education - apprenticed to a goldsmith, and later to painter and printmaker Michael Wohlgemut
Cause of Death - TYPHUS FEVER , Dürer is buried at the Sankt-Johannis Friedhof, Nuremberg.
Mediums - oil on oak panel, pen and ink, watercolor, woodcut and engraving
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Analysis of Albrecht Durer Influences and Technique
Upon his arrival in at Venice in 1494, Mantegna's prints, of which he had copied two, opened his view into a new world. To this great master he did homage in his first alter-pieces: almost as an imitator in the small Dresden altarpiece and more independent in his Bewailing of the Body of Christ, which even in subject is connected with the Paduan school. In the Nuremberg as well as the Munich work, there is no loose juxtaposition as in Wohlgemuth's painting, but a rigid composition. In the latter's work the tough metallic tone, the stony rigid grief stricken appearance of Mary, and the pathos of the old toothless woman raising her arms with a wild cry of grief show how much Mantegna's style and figures dominated Durer's thoughts.
When Durer lived in Venice in 1494, the chief paintings which he saw in churches were the products of Murano, and of Giovanni Bellini, both inspired by Mantegna. But when he returned to Venice in 1506, Bellini had adopted his soft and harmonious style. The people thronged before his alter-pieces, and Durer also experienced the same change in taste. "The thing which so well pleased me eleven years ago does not at all please me now": in this passage of his letters he announces that for him the Muranese were a thing of the past, and that he no longer considered Alvise Vivarini but Bellini as the greatest artist of Venice.
Verrocchio also influenced him. For many of his line engravings, like Knight, Death, and the Devil, 1513–14, the Little Horse, and St. George, were evidently conceived under the influence of the Colleono monument which had recently been erected in Venice. In another direction he was inspired by Leonardo, whom he met in Bologna. The content of Durer's Christ Disputing with the Doctors is derived from the painting ascribed to Leonardo; it belongs, with Titian's Tribute to Money, to that series of works which were created under the inspiration of Leonardo and treat the problem of characteristic heads, using hands as a psychological commentary.
The further development of Durer after his return home in 1507 is vacillating. Although his angular Late Gothic taste sometimes appears, he endeavored, whenever theme permitted, to attain rhythmic, graceful movement and unity of composition; and while he never thought of casting aside his own sentiment in favor of a strange one, he is nevertheless conscious that realism is not necessarily identical with monstrosity and abnormal ugliness.
It is quite characteristic that immediately after his return from Italy he painted the life size figures of Adam and Eve. Although both are thoroughly German in conception, he would not have painted them had he never been to Italy; for his delight in the nude and the rhythm which he endeavors to attain both figures are thoroughly Italian.
Not until the close of his life was he able to unite in a single great work the result of all his efforts. His journey to the Netherlands in 1520-21 furnished a new incentive to the imposing simplification of his art. He saw the paintings of Quentin Massys with their powerful life-sized figures, and the alter-piece of Ghent. "That is a delightful, comprehensible painting, and especially Mary and God the Father are excellent": this passage in his diary shows the path he afterwards followed.
In the midst of his time Durer stands like a giant, his feet rooted in the earth but his head reaching to the stars. From Richard Muther, The History of Modern Painting, Henry and Co., London, 1896
But when great and ingenious artists behold their so inept performances, not undeservedly do they ridicule the blindness of such men; since sane judgment abhors nothing so much as a picture perpetrated with no technical knowledge, although with plenty of care and diligence. Now the sole reason why painters of this sort are not aware of their own error is that they have not learnt Geometry, without which no one can either be or become an absolute artist; but the blame for this should be laid upon their masters, who are themselves ignorant of this art. - - Albrecht Durer Quote
I hold that the perfection of form and beauty is contained in the sum of all men. - Albrecht Dürer
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